“Unconditional Surrender” a Bronze Sculpture by Seward Johnson

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“Unconditional Surrender” a Bronze Sculpture by Seward Johnson

One of the most famous photographs ever published by Life Magazine, “V"J day in Times Square” was shot in Times Square on August 14, 1945 by Alfred Eisenstaedt who was in the square taking candid’s when he spotted a sailor "running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight.   Then suddenly he saw something white being grabbed.  Eisenstaedt turned around and clicked the moment the sailor kissed the nurse.

The photograph does not clearly show the faces of either kisser and several people have laid claim to being the subjects including New York School Bill.

“Unconditional Surrender” a Bronze Sculpture by Seward Johnson
The photo was shot just south of 45th Street looking north from a location where Broadway and Seventh Avenue converge. (Today, the spot where the kiss took place is on the small island separating Broadway and Seventh Avenue between the Toys R Us and MTV studios in Times Square.)

In 2005 American sculptor Seward Johnson created a 25 foot scale bronze sculpture based on the Alfred Jorgensen photograph of V-J Day in Times Square”, titled Unconditional Surrender.   Seward Johnson or MR. J or SJ is an heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, who has been creating his art for more than 30 years.  His sculptures celebrate the common man and simple pleasures of our time.

“Unconditional Surrender” a Bronze Sculpture by Seward Johnson
   Mr. J’s works have been displayed in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. He has created over 200 different statues made from cast bronze
The sculpture memorializes the moment, but adds new meaning to the scene with its three dimensional depiction allowing for the viewer to walk full circle around the kissing couple   The version of the 3-D sculpture Old School saw today has been on display in San Diego, CA, Snug Harbor, NY and Sarasota, FL.

How Mr. J Does IT

Mr. J uses a maquette (small clay model) to fashion the gesture and pose of a figure which will take up to two years to reach completion.
Once the pose is final and the age, narrative, and facial expression are established, the artist selects a live model to come to the studio to pose.
“Unconditional Surrender” a Bronze Sculpture by Seward Johnson
Apprentices at the foundry enlarge the maquette to a life-size nude clay and plastecine figure. Johnson then poses the live model and sculpts the face and the exact stance.
After SJ selects appropriate clothing for the narrative, each item must be disassembled and sewn onto the nude figure, which has been converted to plaster form. Resin is applied to stiffen all the fabrics, and SJ then arranges the folds into proper motion shapes, pumping air into folds and pockets for a lifelike quality. The sculpture dries for two days and is then carved into sections.
The true foundry process now begins. The pieces are transferred from plaster to wax by making a rubber mold of each plaster section.
The wax is carefully chased, that is, all imperfections are corrected using tools similar in their precision to dentist drills. The wax is then given a ceramic shell by a repetitive dipping into a slurry solution. This slurry is made of increasingly fine grains of silica flours and an aqueous slilica solution that hardens in layers.
“Unconditional Surrender” a Bronze Sculpture by Seward Johnson
The wax is then burned out at a high temperature, leaving only the ceramic shell with a precise image of the original; formed by the silica layers. This is called the lost-wax method of casting. The pouring of molten bronze is the next phase of the foundry process. With the bronze reaching a temperature of 2,000 degrees F, it appears almost as poured light. Again, as in the wax stage, extensive chasing assures that all the textural details of the original will be preserved. The pieces are once more joined to form a full figure, and all welds and seams are chased.   The final stage is patination, or the chemical coloring of the surface of the bronze. The unique colors of Seward Johnson's sculpture were developed specifically for his work by the Johnson Atelier. They are a combination of traditional patina chemicals and tinted lacquers. The bronze surface is heated with a hand-held acetylene torch flame, and the specific chemicals are brush applied. The flame then "burns" the chemical color into the bronze. A thin film of incralac, a protective coating, is applied to guard against paint or scratches. The entire sculpture is then waxed, as an additional protection from climatic changes.

All facts pertaining to “Unconditional Surrender” a Bronze Sculpture by Seward Johnson are true to the best of OSB’s knowledge except for the parts made-up or embilished!

ejames01 says:
Nice!!
Posted on: Mar 29, 2009
hummingbird50 says:
Wow Bill...cool sculpture!!!
Posted on: Mar 28, 2009
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photo by: BarboraK