While exploring the back-alleys of Old Town Riga, I spotted street art’s coziest new trend – Yarn-Bombing.
A New York Times article published in May of this year noted the global phenomenon of Yarn-Bombing, a warm and fuzzy art form in which artists anonymously outfit public statues or objects with one-of-a-kind, knitted outer wear. The Fashion Section special – titled “Creating Graffiti With Yarn” – showcases Philidelphia resident-artist Jessie Hemmons. The art of painting on walls is traditionally a male-dominated realm, Hemmons explains. “Yarn bombing takes that most matronly craft (knitting) and that most maternal of gestures (wrapping something cold in a warm blanket) and transfers it to the concrete and steel wilds of the urban streetscape.”
Just as gangs of graffiti artists often gather to form crews, yarn-bombers increasingly seem to define themselves as unified with tagging cohorts. Yet, the art form remains illicit, leading the taggers to act quickly, to wear “ninja black,” and to attack at night.
Sure, Yarn-Bombing may not reflect the region’s highly-politicized sentiment traditionally highlighted by this project. Nevertheless, it’s pretty adorable and hopefully will inspire some knitters out there – from the Eastern Seaboard to the Baltic trio – to “get off your rockers and knit.”