AMERICAN, BORN 1961
Johnny Swing’s Butterfly Chair and Nickel Couch straddle the ever-changing boundaries that separate art from everyday life. Butterfly Chair, named for its symmetrical spread-wing form, envelops the sitter and recalls a traditional wing chair. The sinuous form, made with 1,500 half-dollar coins, is supported by a stainless steel tubular frame. Before a single coin was welded, Swing spent months crafting the biomorphic shapes in polyester resin to ensure that people could sit comfortably in these unconventional seats. It took him more than two hundred hours to weld the Nickel Couch’s 6,400 nickels. As part of the design process, sections of welded nickels were draped on top of the mold and pulled off when the metal cooled.