Featured: “New York to New Mexico: New Acquisitions,” which opens on February 6, 2021, highlights new acquisitions of American and Native American art entered into the collection since 2017 — thanks to generous donations and purchases.
One work in the show is “Blue Carts & Barbed Wired” by Woolpunk.
Woolpunk is an American artist, born in Summit, NJ in 1971. Inspired by an immigrant seamstress grandmother who sewed American flags for a living, Woolpunk machine knits fiber installations, quilts sculptures, and embroiders photographs to influence social change.
“Blue Carts & Barbed Wired” is a digital photograph printed on a vinyl banner with a variety of appliqued textiles and colorful needlework. Woolpunk’s photographic image represents urban sprawl, questions land use, and illustrates the commodification of Jersey City which is now at the zenith of gentrification. Abandoned and dilapidated lots are being purchased by the highest bidder directly under billboards stating “Jersey City Make It Yours.”
Using the vinyl banner as cross-stitch fabric, Woolpunk quilts and embroiders colors, patterns, and textiles to beautify the neglected landscape. This is her way of highlighting forgotten corners of a place she’s called home since the mid- nineties.
Woolpunk (b. 1971)
Blue Carts & Barbed Wired, 2018
Digital image on vinyl banner with needlework Gift of the artist
In 2008, two homes on either side of my newly purchased home were in foreclosure. After researching, I went onto foreclosure.com and found that 37 homes within one mile of my own home were in foreclosure, many due to predatory lending procedures. I narrowed down the list to 15 homes within 500 yards. I photographed the home, found the bank that purchased the property, transferred the photo of the property onto recycled textiles similar to depression era quilting and embellished with needlework.