The second part of our interview series introduces yarn genius Anna Hrachovec. With her knitted characters and installations Anna embraces familiar cultural touchstones – from everyday objects to fairy tales and urban myths – and then twists them around with playfulness and a few carefully placed stitches. At Pictoplasma Berlin she surprised us with a candy-colored forest teeming with curious fauna – and her lovely knitted creatures.

What is your definition of urban art?
To me, urban art is out for all to see and instantly connects with people of all ages. It is also more process-based, less proprietary, and more interactive. And fun!

If you could wake up as your favorite character one day – which would it be?
I want to be the tiny prince from the video game Katamari Damacy. I would love to roll up all the things in the world into one big ball and never stop!

Knitting Pictoplasma Anna Hrachovec
photo: Anna Hrachovec

What was your most interesting encounter/experience as part of creating art in public?
Sometimes I knit on the New York subway and people ask me if I am making a hat or socks. I love the reactions I get when I tell them that it is a river or a tiny panda: delight, confusion, and sometimes disappointment!

How could art and character design change cities to become better places?
Characters can be cultural ambassadors that help us to communicate across generations and language barriers. Art makes cities welcoming and less anonymous, which is more important than ever, since we are all living with multiple anonymous identities on the streets and on the internet.

Where would you like to live right now and why?
I am happy to be living in Brooklyn with its rich history, cultures, and artists. But I also enjoy visiting my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where people are less jaded and more likely to be surprised and enchanted by unexpected acts of creativity.

All photos by Anna Hrachovec

Interview: Claudio Rimmele