Topic: Hammering Man
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April 7, 2010 at 7:54 AM
April 6, 2:21 p.m.
April 6, 11:25 a.m.
April 6, 10:22 a.m.
The construction crane next to Hammering Man Tuesday morning drew the attention of many people walking by. Seattle’s iconic scultpure representing the worker in all of us was getting its arm back.
Doug Smith, who was showing the city to friends from Hawaii, said “the guy deserved a break.” True, who wouldn’t after almost 18 years of pounding about 4 times a minute?
But, more than a break, it was a sick leave that put Hammering Man out of a job. The motor that powers his arm had to be fixed after going idle last summer. “It had to be sent back to somewhere in Illinois,” said Larry Tate, principal of FS Ltd., the contractor putting the scultpure back together, after coming down from bolting the arm into place.
For Nicole Griffin, who works at the Seattle Art Museum, seeing Hammering Man all together again is like getting your neighbor back. “Seattle has become attached to it,” she said. “People are attracted to sculptures that move.”
Olaf Malachowski is one of those Seattleites who loves walking by the sculpture. “I like that it speaks for an often forgotten class of people,” he said, adding that one of the great things about Seattle is that there’s so much public art. “Without the art it’s just a bunch of buildings and a bunch of Starbucks.”
Art does a job indeed.
October 13, 2009 at 1:23 PM
10:19 a.m. [Click image to view larger]
These are strange times for sculptures in Seattle. The one of Christopher Columbus had to be crated up to protect it from vandals and Hammering Man hasn’t been hammering since June. Workers adding a paint of coat to the sculpture discovered some malfunctioning gear and the motor that powers his arm is being rebuilt. Hopefully he’ll be back at it by the end of the year, as Nicole Brodeur reported earlier.
In the meantime he’s probably enjoying a break from so much hammering — he pounds four times per minute from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. The only day he doesn’t work is on Labor day.
“I liked it better when it was working,” said Howard Goodfriend as he waited for his coffee at Stella Caffé across the street. Goodfriend also liked when a ball and chain was attached to Hammering Man in a guerrilla art attack in 1993 (see photo).
Hammering Man was created by Jonathan Borofsky as a tribute to the working person in all of us. It was installed at the entrance of the Seattle Art Museum in 1992.
And here’s an interesting fact I didn’t know: our Hammering Man has taller brothers in Seoul and Frankfurt. They probably wish they could take a break too.
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