I’m always intrigued when people do something interesting with Twitter. I’ve written about this in the past, highlighting projects like Sh*tter, Type Breaker and Twitter By Post. So of course I was intrigued by Amy Sheridan’s art project, where she makes embroidery out of the tweets of Kanye West. It’s brilliant because it doubles down on the absurdity. Kanye West’s tweets are often in and of themselves absurd, so the only appropriate response is to immortalize this pieces of cultural ephemera through framed embroidery. She’s received some great press, including this Jezebel piece. You can check out her work at her Etsy shop. I caught up with Sheridan to find out more:
Rick Liebling: Why Kanye? There are all sorts of crazy/funny/weird/etc. twitter accounts, what made you choose him?
Amy Sheridan: The main reason, of course, is that I’m a huge Kanye fan, he’s amazing and creative and talented. For someone of his status, he is surprisingly uncensored and self-aware on Twitter, which is a nice contrast to the sea of celebrities whose every move is choreographed. His tweets range from stuff anyone would tweet to Elvis-Presley-level over-the-top.
RL: Why embroidery? You seem like one of those multi-talented people, what was it that made you think embroidery would be the right medium?
AS: I like experimenting with art and combining things that don’t usually go together; Twitter is instant-gratification, 140 characters posted and forgotten within a second, and embroidery is anything but instant. And so many of Kanye’s tweets are so ridiculous that they deserve to be translated into a medium that’s been around for literally thousands of years.
RL: What has the reaction/response been from the public?
AS: The reaction has been overwhelming. I’ve heard from people all over the world and so many people have shared stories about how Kanye has affected them, or what he means to them, that’s absolutely been my favorite part of this whole thing. As an artist, it’s great to have people react positively to something I’ve done. Of course, being the internet, there have been detractors, but I’ve found myself defending Kanye more than I’ve defended myself, I’ve actually become really protective of him.
RL: Have you heard from the Kanye camp at all? If not, would you like to?
AS: I haven’t heard anything from Mr. West, but I’m assuming that he’s way too busy being the best rapper in the world (among other things) to pay attention to a nerdy girl with some needles and thread. I would love to hear from him, ideally we’d become BFFs and stay up until all hours having long conversations about art and the creative process, but realistically, if I knew that he was even aware of my existence, that would probably be the coolest thing in the world.
RL: What’s next for you, Kardashian Facebook status updates cross-stitching?
AS: For the past couple of months, I’ve been working on a series of pieces based on horror movies, I’ll probably do a few more of those, and I’ve been working on a portrait of Wilfred (from the show, “Wilfred”) but past that, it’s anyone’s guess. I love embroidery and I love pop culture, so I’ll keep looking for ways to combine them.
Something I love about this, and I think this is really important, Sheridan is doing this because she loves Kanye. This isn’t some “let’s tear down the celebrity” project and that’s an important distinction. There’s an intangible quality to this, one that I think has helped make it as popular as it has become. You can’t fake that, and that’s something that many brands have a hard time understanding.