Philadelphia artist Jessica Curtaz is known for her crocheted street art of large-scale animals, insects, weeds, and flowers applied to exterior chain link fences--sometimes with permission, sometimes without. This type of art form is affectionately known as yarnbombing. It is similar in concept to photobombing where an unexpected action or occurrence is revealed with the underlying intent to surprise. Yarnbombing is recognizably harmless and the nurturing nature of crocheting creates a sense of nostalgia.
For Curtaz to crochet onto chain link is wonderfully beautiful and unique. It enables the viewer to see chain link anew as a woven metal, a patterned substrate, a transparent canvas and it transforms traditional crocheting into public art. Curtaz describes her work as “blending the banal with the fantastic, the domestic realm with the public sphere.”
Curtaz’s imagery of stylized animals, insects, and plants juxtaposed with chain link celebrates the resiliency of nature within the built environment. Curtaz’s urban yarn interventions bring art and creativity to unexpected sites like parking lots and sidewalks. By installing art in non-gallery outdoor locations, it enables Curtaz “to have direct control over the aesthetic environment” and it also speaks to her desire to reimagine the typically utilitarian art form of crocheting. Using chain link as her canvas, what was once an ordinary urban space, Curtaz’s monumental crochet work creates an experiential and memorable moment accessible to everyone.