Here’s a familiar figure. Many of you will recognize the “Hammering Man” statue from the courtyard of the California Market Center in downtown Los Angeles.
While traveling in Germany, I nearly missed my train stop when I spotted the same statue in front of the Messe Frankfurt convention center in Frankfurt. Only unlike the merely huge version at the CMC, this one is 70 feet tall.
California artist Jonathan Borofsky created the Hammering Man in the 1980s and exhibited several versions of the mobile sculpture over the years. In addition to the versions at the CMC and in Frankfurt, there are Hammering Man statues in Seattle, Dallas, Seoul, Korea and Basel, Switzerland. (Fun fact: Borofsky also created the Ballerina Clown on Main Street in Los Angeles’ Venice neighborhood.) The CMC’s sculpture was purchased by the Morse family when they owned the CMC, then called the CaliforniaMart.
According to the Public Art in Los Angeles website, Borofsky has said the Hammering Man “symbolizes the underpaid worker in this new, computerized revolution. The migrant worker who picks the food we eat, the construction worker who builds our buildings, the maid who cleans offices every evening, the shoemaker–they all use their hands like an artist.”
Pretty fitting for a sculpture that sits at the hub of Los Angeles’ fashion business—and, in Germany, at the location of Texprocess, a new trade show that highlights every segment of the apparel industry supply chain.
In German(y): Hammern des Mannes or is that Mann, der hammert?
Published on May 27, 2011 at