Knit Scarves, Not Art

RECEIVED Tue., May 4, 2010

Dear Editor,
    On repeated occasions, visiting friends have asked me what the blue signs on South Lamar signify. Each time I give a sly smile and answered, “Oh, it's art.” Needless to say, I was dismayed to find that knitting enthusiasts had covered Carl Trominski's blue signs on Lamar as part of Art Week Austin, stripping the work of its subtlety and humor. The stunt was the functional equivalent of knitting a cover for a Campbell's Soup can, that is recycling an image into an image ad infinitum.
    While I don't categorically dismiss the notion of knitted graffiti, I don't see the utility in covering a piece of art that already forces us to reconsider our surroundings and recognize the absurd role street signs play in modern life. If my memory serves me correctly, Christo and Jean Claude focused primarily on wrapping buildings, monuments, and nature. Perhaps the guerrilla knitters should follow suit.
    And if one really feels compelled to knit covers on works of public art in Austin, I suggest the Confederate soldiers on campus or the statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan at Lady Bird Lake.
Jonathan Ridewood
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