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Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

October 13, 2009 at 1:23 PM

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Hammering Man takes a break

Posted by Gabriel Campanario

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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