J. Seward Johnson Jr.'s "Making a Point", Midtown 56th Street
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Roving Rube
'03 May 27


The gilded bodies in tennis whites lend peculiarity to this bronze sculpture, which is located in an obscure "pocket park" (Fig. 2) next to a Hooters' restaurant. It also seems odd that it is sitting on a wooden palette (Fig. 1) -- maybe that has something to do with the scaffolding and construction, and maybe the one guy's tennis racquet got broken by a construction worker who picked the wrong thing to grab on to when they were pulling it out of the way.

Cities will sometimes host collections of Johnson's work -- not unlike the CowParade in NY and Chicago that became a fun reason to explore the city looking for the painted cows -- here is a Johnson Walking tour from Albany.

Seward Johnson has been developing unique chemistry for the colors of his sculptures for years. In an effort to better fool the eye, and allow the pieces to blend successfully into our colorful world ... the current opaque colors are achieved using the type of paints ... used on airplanes. They are quite resistant to climate conditions, and each sculpture is also coated with a thin film of incrylac and a final coating of wax for added protection.

Personally, Seward Johnson is a charming and philosophical man, with a tendency toward irreverent wit. He loves to anonymously loiter around his public sculptures and make negative remarks to fellow viewers of the art to see what the real response to his work is! He loves to get into the position of having the stranger unwittingly defend the sculpture to this "hostile" art critic.

Seward Johnson will make up to seven castings of a design, and only as ordered. Therefore, although there are now many Sold Out editions, some works will only be made once. When the full seven are purchased by colectors, the artist invites all seven owners to the foundry to celebrate the ceremonial destruction of the mold. (from Seward Johnson Sculpture site)

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Fig. 1 Fig. 2