As a verb, though, "to craft" seemingly means to participate in some small-scale process. This implies several things. First, it affirms the results of involved work. This is not some kind of detached activity... To craft is to care... [It] implies working on a personal scale--acting locally in reaction to anonymous, globalized, industrial production...Artists that come to mind immediately are Robert Gober, who hand-makes replicas of everything from a kitchen sink to tissue boxes, and Kiki Smith, who's featured in By Hand. That book, inspired in party by Jeffries' definition, features innovative and unexpected uses of craft in contemporary art, accompanied by first-person statements by each artist. One such artist is Rob Conger whose art--latch-hook rugs like the ones he made as a youth--focuses frequently on the mediated dreams of money: he's done yarn homages to lottery lines, The Price is Right, and Alan Greenspan, to name a few. ("We confuse our desire for beauty with our desire for money," he writes.)
woven acrylic yarn on quarter-inch canvas mesh, 1998
Not unlike Kara Walker's transformation of the stately craft of black-paper silhouettes into shocking exposes on race and gender, Kent Hendricksen takes found tapestries and embroiders in ropes and hoods "turning light-hearted innocence into dark vignettes of sadism and emotional aggression."
Robyn Love, whose guerrilla knitting projects have included a gravestone cozy, created a Memorials project, in which she knit what she felt were missing elements of objects and structures like a bus shelter and World War I statue. "My cozies were intended to obscure the thing that was already obscuring the original person or event."
[Cross-posted at Off-Center.]