The Chicago-based artist brings an exhibition of the global phenomenon to the Fashion Place Mall

The interactive exhibition “You are beautiful” will be in the shopping center until June 21.

(Palak Jayswal | The Salt Lake Tribune) Artist Matthew Hoffman at his ‘You are beautiful’ exhibition at the Fashion Place Mall on June 4, 2022.

It’s been 20 years since the Chicago artist Matthew Hoffman created a three-word sticker with the hope of expanding self-acceptance through public art. “You’re beautiful” started a kind of passion project, with 100 silver stickers printed in 2002.

(Palak Jayswal | The Salt Lake Tribune) Stickers ‘You’re Beautiful’ exhibited at the grand opening of the exhibition at the Fashion Place Mall on June 4, 2022.

The project has since expanded and has now evolved into a full-fledged traveling exhibit that is currently on display in front of the Crate & Barrel store at Fashion Place Mall in Murray, Utah.

“I grew up in the Midwest,” explains Hoffman, who attended the opening ceremony on June 4. “I moved to Chicago in 2002, and it was the first time I was alone in a large, urban environment.” It was super exciting, but also irresistible. ”

To help with the sense of loss in the visual and audio chaos of the city, he decided to make his own stickers and make small installations in the style of street art.

“Now it’s a full-time job, where I have staff and we have a building in Chicago,” says Hoffman. “We’ve printed 8.5 million stickers in hundreds of different languages ​​that have traveled the world.”

His goal with the original project sounds true even today with the following exhibition: to make people feel less lost and lonely. “My favorite thing in life is to publish art publicly, it’s there, available to everyone.”

(Palak Jayswal | The Salt Lake Tribune) Visitors hang their affirmation labels at the grand opening of the ‘You’re Beautiful’ exhibition at the Fashion Place Mall on June 4, 2022.

In partnership with Brookfield Properties, which presents itself as “one of the world’s largest real estate managers,” the exhibition will travel to eight different cities across the country. Murray is second.

The exhibition includes positive affirmation stickers placed along the promenade from the mall entrance to the exhibition space, with phrases like “you are brilliant”, “you hope” and “you are amazing”. On each side of the box are walls with similar name stickers.

“It’s kind of the whole interpersonal group dynamic,” Hoffman says of the setting, “all the different ways we look at ourselves and each other.”

Inside, on one side is a wall full of signs that people who come can fill in on their own, stating whatever they want. On the opposite side is a wall with a mirror with the inscription “we are beautiful”.

On the opening day, it is crowded, children and adults are trying to set their labels, as well as make free fresh bouquets of flowers through a partner from Los Angeles Brand Like That. There is a station where people can also paint their succulent plants, along with cookies that have stickers with words of affirmation and lemonade.

(Palak Jayswal | The Salt Lake Tribune) Visitors to the “You’re Beautiful” exhibition pick flowers to arrange bouquets at the Fashion Place Mall on June 4, 2022.

String FX, an SLC-based electric string quartet, performed arrangements of pop songs on the violin, giving the whole event a Bridgerton feel.

Hoffman says each location will have a local partner to work with. Although bright colors and positive affirmations fit into the month of pride for the LGBTQ community, he says it is a “wonderful coincidence” that the dates are so arranged.

(Palak Jayswal | The Salt Lake Tribune) String FX performs at the grand opening of the “You Are Beautiful” exhibition at the Fashion Place Mall on June 4, 2022.

He hopes that even if people just pass by and decide not to stop, his exhibition reminds them to celebrate small moments.

“I think it’s amazing that you can see this message, and the idea is that it’s for you at the moment and you can take it on any trip you want,” says Hoffman.

His original public artistic idea grew beyond his imagination in 20 years. He has more than three words of positive affirmation, but, he says, the best part is seeing the connections his idea has created around the world.

For now, the Jutes say they are: strong, memorable, fearless, loving, beautiful and enough.

(Palak Jayswal | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utahns’ affirmations at the grand opening of the ‘You’re Beautiful’ exhibition at the Fashion Place Mall on June 4, 2022.

The exhibition “You Are Beautiful” will be on display at the Fashion Place Mall until June 21.

Editor’s note • This story is only available to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers. Thank you for supporting local journalism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.