Friday, June 11, 2004

Tribeca Artist Victor Matthews

Butterflies Are Free


Click on image to enlarge

If you want a real visual treat, head downtown to Battery Park where - until next Sunday, June 20th - you will be able to view an arresting sight: nearly 3,000 umbrellas, each hand -painted to resemble the wings of a monarch butterly laid out on the sprawling lawn just south of the Bowling Green subway station.

It is the work of Tribeca artist- 41 year old Victor Matthews- who is no stranger to high profile public art. The High School of Art and Design graduate made a name for himself in the 80's with his large murals that decorated buildings in Soho and Noho. Since then, he has privately sold his work and has been honored by having his art featured in the 48th Venice Biennale. Mr. Mattews, who is apparently obsessed, and has done nothing but eat, sleep, and breath butterflies for more than 24 months, claims to having first been taken by the beauty of these colorful creatures when he found one dying on the banks of the Delaware River several years ago. He immediatly began hand painting them on sturdy canvas and wood umbrellas at this historic park where he routinely goes.

The installation, called 'Beyond Metamorphosis' was partially funded out of his own bank account, though the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council certainly helped. Since I love unusual and artistic things, and feel that one can never have too many umbrellas, I asked if he would consider selling me one. Though he has gone on record as stating he will never break up the 'family', he seemed open to suggestions and has not necessarily ruled out putting them up for sale.

Let me know if you are interested, and I will be happy to contact him for more information.

Posted by Marilyn Kirschner

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