John Seward Johnson // 1983
Cast Aluminum|Painted Aluminum|Painted Steel
This highly detailed aluminum sculpture portrays a figure with a thermos, a lunch pail and a cigar in his hand. At a glance, he is often mistaken for a real person relaxing on a bench. To create a sculpture with such verisimilitude, the artist made casts of clothed mannequins.
Seward’s choice to place the sculpture at eye level marks a shift from the commemorative heroic sculptures popular in Edmonton at the time. He has eliminated the pedestal and made his subject a common working class man, in this case a carpenter on his lunchbreak. The sculpture could be interpreted to promote egalitarianism and show the equality of all people independent of class.