JG: Do you have a favorite work besides the St. X tiger statue?
MW: The bike rack I made for the city on the corner of 4th and Market. I’m proud of that piece. It’s called Presence. People walk by it every single day and see it and probably don’t think it’s an artwork or that I made it. I modeled it after the state historical roadside markers, which feature facts about what happened there in history. So, I took that palette and uploaded it with my information, which is not my own, but information that I wanted people to learn about. On one side it says “Presence” and a twenty-four hour metaphoric clock for planet earth is represented. 4.6 billion years are condensed into twenty-four hours using clock hands. All the earth’s major events are recorded as if they happened within a twenty-four hour period; the development of complex organisms, plants, mammals, humans. The other side of the marker is “Pangaea: A Study of Change” and it shows twelve paleogeographic maps of the break-up of the earth’s last supercontinent. I hope to open discussion about our human context in time and how humankind has affected the world around it through exponential growth and resource exploitation causing an unsustainable rate of exchange with the planet. The result of this sustained behavior and human overpopulation is the effect of permanent loss or extinction of species throughout the planet.
Presence bike rack
It is a passive sign standing there on the city streets, but what I’m trying to suggest is exactly what this type of sign represents, “you are here.” This is my educational platform and I do believe that this is a call to change and get people thinking for themselves about these very big competitive ideas of religion and science, which are unfortunately at odds for a lot of people. My call to action for people is to be responsible with your time and energy and educate yourself and the people around you and learn about our impact on the planet.
JG: You’ve used stone, wood, and bronze. What’s your favorite material to work with?
MW: I’ve gotten away from stone because it’s harder for me to make work with it, but I still do like carving stone the most. The process of it is very enjoyable and meditative.
JG: What do you do for leisure?
MW: I am really into clouds. There’s this author that I really like and his name is Gavin Pretor-Pinney and he founded the International Cloud Appreciation Society of which I am a member. (Grin) It’s such light reading and I was just fascinated by this information.
JG: And I thought you’d say something like watch Desperate Housewives.
MW: (Chuckle) I don’t own a TV. It’s kind of a hard question, I mean I don’t know what I do for leisure because I feel like I do this (artwork/concepts/ideas) all the time and if I’m not doing it I’m thinking about it. I feel that I’m lucky enough to have stumbled into something that I’m passionate about; that is the substance of my life.
Matt Weir’s exhibit Anthropocene’ya . . . ass which features two award-winning sculptures in addition to three new works will be on view at the Gallery at Actors Theatre from Dec. 20th – Jan. 22nd. A special reception is planned for the First Friday Trolley Hop on Jan. 6th at 5:30 p.m.
Please visit Matt’s website, www.mweir.com, for further detailed information on his work.
statue photos: courtesy of Matt's website