Nicole Nikolich, 26, is a colorful Philadelphia street artist with a crochet hook. And, she's using it to reel in a meet-and-greet with Taylor Swift.
Nikolich's "Operation Meet Taylor Swift" is a compilation of three — and possibly four, time allowing — art displays that Nikolich has been installing in preparation for Swift's Lincoln Financial Field stop on her Reputation tour this weekend.
The "End Game"? Create enough social media buzz for Swift to notice her — and get her a face-to-face introduction at the concert.
The first piece of the series debuted on Saturday outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It features lyrics from Swift's "New Year's Day": "I want your midnights."
The second, new as of Monday morning, spells out lyrics from "Gorgeous" — "You're so gorgeous" — beneath the Girard Avenue bridge on Kelly Drive.
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The third piece of the installation is scheduled to go up outside of Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday, with the lyrics, "Don't blame me, love made me crazy," from "Don't Blame Me."
This one will be a joke on Nikolich herself, says the artist, "I seem like this crazy fan but, I'm just trying to get her attention."
Nikolich says that, although the pieces are directly related to Taylor Swift, they contain subtle references to the locations they are displayed on, as well.
The "I want your midnights" piece at the Art Museum includes crochet stars and a moon that mimic objects used in many famous artworks, including Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night.
"Kelly Drive is an interactive place where people are running, biking … working toward their goals," which allows the lyrics to serve as a warm reminder to passersby that "you know, you're so gorgeous," says Nikolich, referencing the Swift song that inspired her.
Yarn bombing is a form of street art in which artists create displays from yarn, typically crochet, but sometimes knitting.
Nikolich is a self-taught yarn bomber; she learned through YouTube videos. "I saw someone post a picture of yarn bombing and I thought it was so cool because I've always loved multimedia art," said Nikolich, adding that she gained further inspiration from Brooklyn-based crochet artist London Kaye.
In her own work, Nikolich uses vibrant colors, including lots of pink, and features fun, whimsical vibes. How long Nikolich spends on each piece depends on the intricacy of the design or lettering. So far, for the "Operation Meet Taylor Swift" series, Nikolich has spent 15 to 20 hours on each display.
The actual installation is much quicker, lasting about 45 minutes. Nikolich uses multiple zip ties or a strong construction adhesive to hang her work (the latter is a sturdier option). Weather permitting (and if no reckless individual tears them down), the displays should last a couple weeks.
Her favorite part: interacting with the community during setup.