A Decade of You Are Beautiful | February 7 – March 7, 2013
Green Exchange 2545 W Diversey, Chicago, IL 60647
If you’ve been following the You Are Beautiful movement for the better part of the 21st Century, then you are keenly aware of its power to create positive change and encourage conversation within communities far and wide. When I heard there would be an exhibit celebrating a decade’s worth of the movement, there was no way I could pass up being there for the magic.
So there I found myself. At The Green Exchange the morning after the opening, and I was granted exclusive VIP access to the exhibit by a security guard at the front desk. He let me know that no one was upstairs to show me around and that the doors were all probably locked, and that was all fine and dandy to me. Beautiful, even.
Once up and at ‘em at the absolutely gorgeous Green Exchange space, I instantly knew that the work on display was all I would need for the next hour or so. No distractions. No intercepting passers by or onlookers. No conversations about interpretations. Just me and the art. Me and the movement known by three simple yet powerfully profound words: You Are Beautiful. And the work produced by talented, international artists inspired by the phrase will stay with me forever. Hopefully, you take some of it with you too, you beautiful bastard, you…
Oh, and all the glass doors were very much unlocked, leaving me with unparalleled access to everything the exhibit has to offer. Thanks, Green Exchange. Good lookin’ out…
The movement mentioned above and celebrated within The Green Exchange’s exhibit started a decade ago in 2002 by Chicagoan Matthew Hoffman, starting with stickers and evolving into an all-inclusive, exclusively exquisite, full blown international phenomenon. You Are Beautiful is everything art should be, everything the world should be.
“Over the month of February, You Are Beautiful will fill the raw spaces of The Green Exchange, culminating in a one night public gala. Various Dabble workshops and programming will take place throughout the month. The exhibition will survey the project from inception to present day. It will also act as a catalyst, offering to a new breed of artists and designers who will develop & reinvent approaches to this positive intervention.
You Are Beautiful is a bold and simple statement, established in Chicago in 2002. It began simply with 100 stickers. In the past decade, over half a million stickers have traveled around our globe. From coast to coast and around the world, the message has evolved into block long murals, public installations and exhibitions at cultural institutions involving thousands of artists.”
The As You Are: A Decade of You Are Beautiful exhibition is curated by founder Matthew Hoffman, who considers himself the custodian of the project, “keeping the lights on and floor clean.” He points to the incredible global community that has championed and embraced this message. “There has never been a more vital time for positive intervention than now.”
You can say that again.