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Arriving Saturday, ‘Stitcherotica II’ features ‘naughty’ fiber art

Bill DeYoung

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Detail from one of Kristi Capone's mermaid pieces (see the full image below). "Sticherotica," Capone said, "is just that – it’s fiber art incorporating naughty, erotic, subversive themes into what is traditionally a very subdued and almost conservative art form." All images provided.

To toss in an overworked cliché, this isn’t your grandma’s knitting and crochet work.

Of course, that all depends on the grandma in question.

Opening during Saturday’s Second Saturday ArtWalk, “Stitcherotica II: Touch, Don’t Look” is an exhibition of fiber art in Room 208 (B Stark Art Studio) of the downtown Art Lofts building (10 5th St. North).

Artist and exhibit organizer Kristi Capone isn’t sure there exists a rich history of erotic and suggestive images stitched into visual art – but then again, she said, anything’s possible.

“I would imagine that in medieval times, as conservative as society was, they managed to slip a little nudity into the tapestries,” Capone said. “I certainly wouldn’t count that out.”

Artists contributing to her “naughty fiber show” are Brandy Stark, Honey, Kress Saarinen, Laura Eve, LD Morisco, Lili Marlene, Maria Swire, Marisa Griffin, Megan Hoolihan Dalziel, Nancy Cohen, Patricia Toscano, Rhys Meatyard, Tugce Erol and Capone herself. The approximately 30 pieces, utilizing various mediums and various subject matter.

As the name suggests, this will be the second Stitcherotica show. The first one, in the spring of 2020, was on the walls and ready to go when Covid-19 reared its ugly head.

Even though the public never actually had the chance to see – and touch – the art in person, Capone and Brandy Stark made created a virtual tour for YouTube – and seven pieces subsequently sold.

At the time, there was no local precedent for such a show. “As with most of my ideas – they just pop into my head and I either execute them or let them sit on the back burner until something happens,” explained Capone. “But I thought this was too cool to pass up.”

Capone is also a painter and photographer – “I like to dabble; whatever strikes me at the time, that’s what I go with.” She remembers the lightbulb moment that was Stitcherotica.

“I’ve been knitting and crocheting for about 15 years now. I got into it sorta on the late side. There was a company called Subversive Cross Stitch, and they would sell these patterns that had four-letter words on them. I thought oh, how funny. How kitschy is that?

“But I never thought about applying it to knitting or crocheting until much later.”

Saturday’s reception is from 6 to 9 p.m.; “Stitcherotica II” will be on view through mid-June.

Erotic stitchery, Capone insists, is just another form of creativity, although “shock and titillation might be secondary characteristics. It’s all in how you view it.

“The artists and I had a little meet-and-greet with each other last Saturday night, a little preview inside the studio. A lady and her husband came in. They thought ArtWalk was that night, and they wandered into Room 208. She looked around and she looked around, and she said ‘Well, there’s a lot of body parts on here.’ That’s how she put it. She said ‘Wow, there’s breasts.’ And I said ‘Yes. Welcome to Stitcherotica.’ She didn’t seem put off by it.

“The artists and I were all talking about, what constitutes shock and titillation, and obscenity? … and then we pulled ourselves out of that, because we’re really just having fun with it. It’s just another art form.”

She’s thrilled with this year’s submissions. “It’s pretty amazing. No two things are alike.”

 

 

 

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