Client: Pulse Contemporary Art Fair
Location: New York City, NY, United States
Completion date: 2014
Artwork budget: $15,000
Pulse NYC Contemporary Art Fair
This globe was constructed using over 300,000 wooden matches. It measures 43″ in diameter and weighs over 200 lbs. It was created over a 3-year period, and the head of each match was dipped in a mix of acrylic gouache and flame retardant. It was then featured as a solo entryway exhibit for the 2014 Pulse Contemporary Art Fair in New York City.
The prominent display of this work in one of New York's premier contemporary art fairs fed my commitment to the enormous challenge of building it. The use of matches brings up a wide variety of associations: global warming, overpopulation, political tensions, or simply the unpredictability of everyday life. Fabrication was extremely time consuming due to its size and weight, and the vulnerability of its surface made it a challenge to transport and install.
This project was first conceived by the artist as the anchor for a solo gallery exhibition. Enthusiasm for the idea led the gallery to contact the art fair, and finally to its installation in the venue's entryway. As the weight of the piece exceeded expectations, the interior structure was reconfigured using steel pipe, plywood and foam, skinned over with rice paper. The use of commercial flame retardant ensured that the piece conformed with the city's fire and safety regulations.
Images of this work went went viral on social media, leading to numerous articles in publications around the world. It also garnered an offer from Trucking Wars, a reality television show, to transport the work to New York, but this was declined.