Jonathan Borofsky

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Hammering Man, 21 meters tall, painted steel
Permanent installation, Messeturm building, Frankfurt, Germany


"The Hammering Man was commissioned in 1990 by Jerry Speyer for the new Messeturm building in Frankfurt (designed by Helmut Jahn). The Hammering Man is a symbol for the worker in all of us. The motorized arm of the hammering man continuously swings its hammer back and forth - from the mind to the hand and back again. We all use our minds and our hands to create our world. I like to say that between the mind and the hand, there is the heart.

I made my first 'worker' (Hammering Man) in 1979, when I used it as part of my installation at the Paula Cooper Gallery. I cut this first Hammering Man out of plywood (3.4m tall), painted it black and got some help with the motor for the arm. My original concept was to have many Hammering Men, all hammering at different locations around the world - all at the same time - sort of a worldwide installation connecting us all together. In fact, today there are quite a few wooden "indoor" Hammering Men (of different sizes) that hammer in different places, as well as several large steel outdoor variations. Other outdoor Hammering Men are in Seoul, Los Angeles, Dallas, Basel and Seattle."
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