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Need To Know: Textile Artist John Brinegar

John Brinegar

A yarn maestro uses knits as his art form. 

In his first solo exhibition, "I Would Never Wear That", textile artist John Brinegar set out to change the way hand-knitting is only seen as a make-to-wear craft. Brinegar, aka Knitboy, chose yarn as his medium to create sculptural works, which are then worn by beautiful men (and women), and photographed in his studio.


"Traditional yarn and making sweaters is great, it's been around for centuries," Brinegar says. "When non-traditional material meets stitch vocabulary, limits dissolve and innovative textures are born. By experimenting with more materials and different scale, and 'forgetting' some rules typical for the garment business, worlds blow wide open. The line is crossed from knitted garment to sculpture, and creates diversity, discord, and fantasy."

Out of his knitting needles, red wool mittens become a subtle substitute for blood-drenched wrists; a fishnet mohair shawl merges with a model's beard and turns him into a mysterious sea creature; an oversized turtleneck becomes a warm cocoon, covering up the body and face of his subject.

In "I Would Never Wear That," Brinegar explores the potential of knitting as a bona fide art form, proving that a stitch can be as powerful as the stroke of a paintbrush to create striking visual works. The exhibition will include both knitted pieces and photographs of his knit works. Go see it, and take your grandma with you.

"I Would Never Wear That" at Daniel Cooney Gallery, March 5-8,

Follow John Brinegar on Instagram @knitboy1 or visit his website,

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