Matthew Geller - Nautical Swing
[ARTIST BACKGROUND] Matthew Geller, a nationally respected artist, is recognized for his public art commissions. Geller creates artwork that is interactive and animated - often in unexpected and unpredictable ways. Geller lives and works in New York City, although he exhibits and has been commissioned for public art throughout the United States. Geller received a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Connecticut College and a Master of Fine Arts Degree, University of Delaware.
[PROPOSED ARTWORK] Seemingly constructed from parts salvaged from the Hunters Point Shipyard Nautical Swing provides a place where up to a dozen people can relax, converse, and enjoy the view while gently swaying on a circular bench that is protected from ultraviolet sunlight and rain by a glass roof. Unlike traditional park benches, this circular park-bench/porch-swing and fosters interaction and conversation. Geller imagines that this will be a celebratory gathering place for visitors to the park and nearby residents to sit, talk, and enjoy the park while gazing out on the surrounding spectacular views. The customized, 13’-diameter, semi-circular seating is made of wood and galvanized steel. The glass roof that protects visitors from the weather is approximately 20’ square. At night, LED lights located under the bench subtly illuminate the structure. The work is playful, romantic, and as entertaining as it is functional.
[ARTIST INSPIRATION] Geller visited San Francisco to attend the artist site visit on October 30, 2009 and was inspired by listening to community leaders speak about the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood. One after another community leaders addressed the assembled artists and spoke about the strong sense of community, of family, and of church. They also spoke about the desire for more opportunities where people could come together in informal and relaxed settings. Geller’s piece also reflects the Hunters Point Shipyard’s military history: the galvanized steel columns and beams mimic the structure of the historic dry-dock and gantry crane. The roof structure looks as if it could once have been part of a navy base laboratory building.
[YOUTH INVOLVEMENT] Working with youth, Geller will conduct a public art site tour consisting of a day-long visit to the new first parcel of the Shipyard. He will show and discuss his installation process as well as conduct a behind-the-scenes public art tour.