Seward Johnson Sculptures
This sculpture shows a man sketching – perhaps an architect or an engineer. Seward Johnson always wants to encourage people to find their creativity in the out of doors. Even the creative inspiration that you need for your job!
My Dog Has Fleas
This title, for those not in the know, references the way one tunes guitar strings. The casual clothing: sandals, ripped knees on the jeans and a bit of a 5 o’clock shadow indicate that the attention to his songs are a higher priority than the 9 to 5 work world for this man.
Inner World, Outer World
“I have often used the newspaper in my sculptures to make a kind of subtle joke – to disguise the fact the figure was not a living human – in the same way that some people use the newspaper as a wall to hide the fact that they are wanting to hide from people around them. A shield to say, ‘not now – I need my time alone.’”– Seward Johnson
“I’ve chosen to sculpt “real life” because in our busy society – filled with so much technology and idle distraction – it’s easy sometimes to forget the simple things that give us pleasure. If we open our eyes, life is marvelous. The human spirit triumphs, if only for moments in a day. I try to have my work call attention to those moments.”
Monet, Our Visiting Artist
The work titled “Monet, Our Visiting Artist” depicts a full-figured portrait of the beloved painter Claude Monet (1840-1926), and was originally created as an homage to Monet painting “Terrace at Sainte-Adresse.” The bronze figure has since been shown “painting” other Monet inspired sculptures as a playful “art imitating art imitating life” scenario. Here, the bronze version of Monet captures a scene of the Roane Building on our Historic Court Circle.
No, Mommy, That One
Seward Johnson stated years ago, “I think that becoming a father has profoundly affected my work. It has softened me and made me more aware of the innermost parts of people.”
One Man’s Search
“I mean, the whole thing is a wonderful way to meet and talk. It’s an enticement to socialize. That’s what public art is about, I think. To allow that intimacy with an object that represents something to you and then they become a friend. All that humanity comes out. And that’s what I think true public art should accomplish.”- Seward Johnson.
This is a remarkable take on the famous Rosie the Riveter image which honored the women working in the factories on the home front during World War II. There is now an annual Rosie Day where people dress in the iconic kerchief, red lipstick and jumpsuit to pay homage to the women who made such a difference in the efforts to supply needed equipment for the troops. Daughters and granddaughters of the original Rosies are now called “Rosebuds”.
Sharing the Headlines
“The art of my work is in the interaction. It is not the aesthetic. The bronzes serve to enhance the experience of the landscape and setting, and it also civilizes an urban area that otherwise might not be civilized. It people-izes it. It makes it inviting to a human being.”- Seward Johnson
When Now Becomes Then
“I become emotional when I see people experience great pleasure from having access to art, from being able to touch it, and from being transformed by the responses they have when surrounded by art.”– Seward Johnson