My Knitted Boyfriend is a cushion with a story. A cushion with a personality. A cushion to kiss! Or, well… to cuddle, to caress, to hug, and to smile with. Because this man is always happy. He likes to sit on your floor, on your couch or at you dinner table. But most of all he likes to lay down next to you in bed. With your head on his chest and his arms wrapped around you. With this man you can be sure, he will never leave you! At the moment there are two Knitted Boyfriends in this world. Light skinned Arthur and dark skinned Steve.
Noortje was asked many questions about ‘My Knitted Boyfriend’. She hopes her work speaks for itself but agrees ‘My Knitted Boyfriend’ is a project with a bigger extent. Noortje feels that the nice thing about art and design is that we can all in interpret it in our very own way. Nevertheless this is what Noortje felt when designing ‘My Knitted Boyfriend’:
‘Loneliness is an important subject in the time we’re living in. We are searching for the romantic idea of ‘the right one’ in our lives. With very high expectations! Since it’s really hard to find this person a lot of people in the world live alone, while wishing for someone to cuddle or sit on the couch with. I believe it’s the ordinary moments in which all people can feel really lonely sometimes. Regardless of age or gender or culture or language. This is why I came up with ‘My Knitted Boyfriend’. He will be around at home brightening up the ordinary moments of your day-to-day life with his charming smile and warm wooly body!’
My Knitted Boyfriend is a humorous project about a serious subject. Noortje believes laughing about a negative feeling is already the beginning of a more positive and happy feeling. And when you feel positive and happy with yourself, loneliness will disappear!
Noortje originally made My Knitted Boyfriend as one of her graduation projects in 2011. She should have predicted that the charm of this man wouldn’t stay unnoticed to the rest of the world! ‘My Knitted Boyfriend’ is a project Noortje is still developing and working on as to today. At the moment My Knitted Boyfriend is in production but unfortunately not in a commercial way. Currently there is a limited edition of a few My Knitted Boyfriends available. The production of a man takes place in various countries in Europe where he is handmade. Price on request!
Since many people have expressed their feelings and thoughts about ‘My Knitted Boyfriend’ it seemed only fair to share the to Noortje most interesting or just simple hilarious ones with you!
‘Although humorous in its somewhat cynical outlook on modern love, the piece is unexpectedly sentimental. Complicating the delightfully sweet story of the artist and her beau is the work’s clever take on the domestic theme. This 1950s-style domestic romanticism is brilliantly complicated and subverted by the fact that the male and not the female here is the homemaker; in place of the mid-century ideal of the perfect wife, My Knitted Boyfriend is that crucial element that makes a house a home.’
Beautiful Decay, March 2014, Ellyn Ruddick-Sunstein
‘Traditional knitting meets online dating as Noortje de Keijzer studies the symbolism of human bonds. The artist confronts us with the illusion of the idealised relationship sought by society, our own society, that constantly demands performance and accomplishment.’
Les sens du beau, catalog Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne, 2015, Alexandra Jaffre
‘ “Me, my boyfriend and my knitted boyfriends are all living happily together!” Creepy. You should be going out dancing,” added Schneider.’
New York Post, 2014, Andrea Peyser
‘For something that initially sounds bizarre, “My Knitted Boyfriend” and its accompanying short film are refreshingly endearing. As de Keijzer observed, the strong reaction to her creation only “proves once more that in matters of love everybody on the planet speaks the same language.’
The Huffington Post, 2014, Alanna Vagianos
Photography Anne Dokter