Sao Paulo, Brazil-based artist Rogerio Degaki has created an incredible series of works that will make you scratch your head. While at first glance you think you're looking at close-up photos of children's knitted sweaters, find out they're actually oil paintings and you can't help but be completely blown away.
How does he do it? Degaki tells us that his process of painting on canvas is very similar to knitting. “The surface is divided into rows and columns, in which I distribute the ‘knitting stitches,' according to the image I want to paint,” he says. “From there, I overlap up to six color layers to compose the background, the stitches and the brightness of wool. It's a bit mathematical and repetitive, but definitely worth it.”
Degaki has been working as an artist for the last ten years. One of his goals is to make images that reference a stage we all go through in our lives, childhood, and translate it to pop art.
“From that starting point, I remembered a curious fact from my childhood. When I was very young, it was common to receive handmade knitting sweatshirts made by my mother and aunts, with dark colors and patterns that were not very interesting to a 10-year-old child. Still, there was some sort of moral obligation to wear those clothes in winter, though we did not like them at all, not to cause a family crisis. I remember my mother telling me something like ‘Put the sweatshirt your aunt made on, or she'll be sad.' I realized that this sort of situation is very common.
“Based on these memories, I began creating knitted patterns on the assumption that they reflect what I would wear if I was a 10-year-old again. It was a way, I believe, to deconstruct those old knitted sweaters, to create something that I would really love to wear. As I have no skills with wool and needles, I carried that same aesthetic to canvas using oil paint.”