Mark Newport Knits Superheroes for ‘IN ACTION’ Installation [Video]
Currently showing at the University of Texas Downtown Gallery, artist Mark Newport's IN ACTION installation is a quirky fusion of pop culture and knitwear, featuring yarn-assembled suits inspired by Batman, Spider-Man, Captain America and more. Newport's work creates a dialogue of the viewer's perceptions of superhero costumes, safety, and gendered activities such as knitting and comics.
Newport's trompe-l'œil designs are a juxtaposition of archetypal masculine heroes and the cozy security of a hand-knit sweater, with knitted acrylic threads in place of Kevlar-lined spandex to create a life-sized costume.
The artist was interviewed about the show by the Knoxville News Sentinel, whose Amy McRary wrote that Newport began the project in 2003 and that he was actually inspired by tragedies of September 11, 2001.
"I started to think personally how does that fit into being a man or a woman, being a parent. I started a story in my head of how to take care of my kids. And you need to be a superhero. And a superhero needs a costume."
Fantastic Four (Reed Richards), 2003
Captain America, 2007
Sweaterman 8, 2011
Sweaterman 7, 2011
Sweaterman 4, 2007
Rawhide Kid, 2004
Two Gun Kid, 2006
Mark Newport's IN ACTION is currently showing at the University of Texas Downtown Gallery until March 31, 2012.