We first encountered Gary Hirsch’s work in mural form. THEN we discovered the Bots! For over 10 years Gary has been the compelling force behind “Botjoy,” a global art movement designed to spread joy, courage, love and gratitude. To date, he has painted over 58,000 Bots, all programmed differently, and stashed them in public places for open-eyed folks to find. Some provide joy, or courage or inspiration. His Bot medium? A domino. They’re satisfyingly tactile and hefty for their size—a perfectly portable talisman.
As a child in Cleveland Heights, OH, Gary suffered from nightmares and his father took to the habit of handing him pen and paper when he would wake up in the middle of the night, to illustrate the monsters of his dreams. His father said “if you can create them, you can also erase them.” To this day, it’s important to Gary to create art that helps people connect with themselves and each other. Botjoy brings that goal to life with the Bots, public murals that always engage their viewers with a question, and by actively encouraging the public to steal the Bot making idea in order to give to their own communities. “Make a robot. Feel more human.”
Gary’s public works can be seen in Portland, San Jose, New Orleans, Phoenix, Dallas, Boulder, Melbourne and Madrid. He lives in Portland, OR.