The 4-foot x 319-foot artwork, made of bright yellow high density polyethylene, reads: “Nothing’s for keeps. Except that we must keep going. You’ll spend your entire life searching, ok? We all want to belong. So let’s all get along. Make the most, and hope. May this never end.”
Hoffman is the Custodian of “You Are Beautiful,” a project to better the world in little ways. Hoffman began the project as a graffiti-style self-affirmation scrawled on the rusting trusses of an underpass in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. Following significant praise for this tiny gesture, Hoffman began to develop stickers bearing the phrase that have now been circulated across the globe, as well as massive installations in all manner of media. The message has reached every corner of the globe, with over 2 million stickers shared.
“Instead of looking at an object and moving on, these messages become something we internalize and continue to apply to our state of being. The artwork becomes a personal internal reflection opposed to an object that is meant to exist solely in space,” said Lucas Cowan, the Public Art Curator for The Greenway.
“I like to make things open ended, so the viewer can go on their own journey. I don’t want to script that too much. I like presenting an idea, and seeing where it goes. I hope that the phrases illicit ideas or feelings, that give the viewer an experience,” commented Matthew Hoffman.
Matthew has an expansive portfolio that has been exhibited internationally. He is author of a book on the movement he created, aptly titled A Decade of You Are Beautiful, and his ideas and work have been included in GOOD Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, and ReadyMade Magazine. He has been published in a number of books by Gestalten, Droog, and Taschen, and was featured in a segment on the Oprah Winfrey network. To learn more about the artist visit: www.heyitsmatthew.com.
The Conservancy has commissioned the work with private funds from ArtPlace America.