Agata Oleksiak otherwise known as OLEK (born 1978) in industrial Poland, OLEK’s art allowed her to leave her gritty, narrow-minded hometown of Silesia. Through colors and conceptual exploration, OLEK’s art examines sexuality, feminist ideas, and the evolution of communication, all with meticulous detail and total candor. OLEK consistently pushes the boundaries of fashion, art, crafts, and public art, fluidly combining the sculptural and the fanciful. With the old-fashioned technique of crocheting, she has taken the ephemeral medium of yarn to express everyday occurrences and inspirations, thus creating a metaphor for the complexity and interconnectedness of our bodies and our psychological processes.
OLEK’s bursts of bright colors often mask political and cultural critiques woven into the fibers of installations, mirroring her respect for artists and writers. She highlights that which already exists in real time, in our environment.
As an active supporter of women’s rights, sexual equality, and freedom of expression, OLEK has used the broad appeal of her work to display her solidarity with those stifled by oppressive laws worldwide. Through her body of work, OLEK has always sought to bring color and life, energy, and surprise to the living space. OLEK’s work has been exhibited in galleries, museums, and public spaces worldwide, from Art Basel and Wynwood Walls in Miami to the Brooklyn Museum in New York and The Smithsonian in Washington DC. OLEK currently lives and works in Brooklyn.