Working with traditional media including bronze, stone, wood, steel and aluminum, Johnson’s work utilizes materials that are synonymous with strength, belying the delicate, sensuous, and sometimes weightless appearance of the sculptures themselves. The work focuses on the physical point at which an object, when standing on its own, becomes a sculpture. The spirits inhabiting or occupying these objects are pushed to the forefront, often bringing into question exactly what the viewer is looking at.
In a sculpture titled “Wife Beater”, the tank-top undershirt, referred to by its colloquial moniker, is cast in bronze, assuming an upright and present posture, slightly slumped in contrapposto and oddly animate, despite the shirt being absent its wearer. The piece was born of unintended consequence when the shirt, which was being used as a glue rag, was hung up to dry. When the tank top was released from its hanger it revealed its nature as a sculpture. The subsequent form was molded and cast.
Another form of sculptural displacement is explored in “Levitating Woman” as the illusion of the levitating magician’s assistant is sculpturally performed. In this work the sheet covering the body is replaced with bronze, while the figure is missing. Johnson enshrines the presence of the woman within the topography of the sheet, creating a virtual figure that is both floating and not actually there.
1. Matt Johnson, Wife Beater, 2011, Bronze.
sursă foto: 303 Gallery