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Attack of the Crocheted Jacaré by Olek

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When it comes to crafts, there are few as homely as crochet. Grannies have been using the time consuming craft to create doilies and tea cozies since it’s peak in popularity in the 19th century. Since then we’ve seen the technique be put to use in designs as unexpected as fencing, but never before has it been used to make an alligator cuddly.

The alligator in question is of course not of the coldblooded swamp dwelling variety, but rather a blown-up version acting as a jungle gym. Designer Márcia Maria Benevento created an alligator-shaped playground in São Paulo, Brazil, which has now gotten the crochet treatment by Brooklyn-based artist Olek. Crochet is for Olek something like polka dots are for Yayoi Kusama, with her crochet sculptures and installations making appearances from New York to Poland. This piece, dubbed ‘Crocheted Jacaré’ was created for the SESC Arts Show 2012. Olek and her crocheteiros covered the massive reptile with electric blues, pinks, oranges and golds. The thread used was a “multicultural mix” of North Carolina Acrylic and Brazilian ribbon.

The bright colors and soft covering created by the artist create a unsettling effect when paired with the gigantic predator that they mask so that the story of “Little Red Riding Hood,” comes to mind. But that sense of danger hidden behind a flimsy disguise is surely what will get the kids coming to play, and the grownups to ponder on the magnetic attraction that the sense danger brings.

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