Art Spotlight: A Look at the Crochet Art by Nathan Vincent

Nathan Vincent is a crochet artist who produces incredible and thought-provoking work, and I’m thrilled to share some of it on the blog today.

Vincent learned to crochet as a child, inspired by his mother’s “magical” ability to create handcrafted textiles with crochet, cross-stitch, knitting, and sewing techniques. While she was initially reluctant to teach her son these skills, she eventually relented and taught him to crochet.

The artist shared in an interview that he didn’t remain interested in crochet throughout his childhood, but instead picked it back up in college when he realized that he could use it as a medium for sculpture.

Vincent currently lives in LA. His work has been exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, and in galleries abroad and has been featured in international publications including the New York Times.

Nathan Vincent’s Work

Let’s Play War

“Let’s Play War” is an exhibition commissioned by the Bellevue Arts Museum in 2015. This installation features 16 child-sized crochet army figures, which are moved and “play” with each other each day.

This exhibition encourages viewers to consider the way that children, especially male children, are encouraged to associate violence and aggression with fun and play. This is juxtaposed with the use of crochet as a medium which is a craft so often reserved for females.

Locker Room

Vincent’s installation “Locker Room” takes on the subject of gender expressions and acceptable gender activities by using a traditionally female craft to create a space that is typically seen as exclusively for males.

The open layout of the installation is intended to suggest that while locker rooms are often purported to be safe places for men to be private and comfortable, in reality, they’re a space in which many people feel uncomfortable, judged, or inadequately masculine.

Don’t Make Me Count to Three

With its massive pile of explosives attached to a central detonator, “Don’t Make Me Count to Three!” takes on the threats, real and empty, that we all experience on a day-to-day basis.

In his description of this project, Vincent points out that “there are certain rules that we must live by for fear of consequence.” Some are useful for the structure of society, while others are not. To break some of these rules would have dangerous consequences, while others are followed simply because of social pressures.

Crocheted Urinals for “Role Play”

These crocheted urinals are part of a larger art exhibition called “Role Play,” which featured works by various artists. As the way we view gender shifts, this project explores the ways in which some gender expectations remain rigid.

The exhibition is designed to inspire dialogue about the way we view gender as a society and what more fluid definitions of gender will mean for our society, our future, and the ways we raise our children.

Other Works By Nathan Vincent

Kelsey Mlnarik

Kelsey has been a crafter since childhood and enjoys crochet, sewing, and any craft she can make with her children. She loves learning new techniques and sharing what she learns along the way. Kelsey someday hopes to be someone's crafty grandmother, crocheting afghans and drinking entire pots of coffee.