If you have ever visited Washington, D.C., you may have had the privilege of checking out this incredibly emotional sculpture by artist J. Seward Johnson, entitled The Awakening. After spending much of his early career as a painter, Johnson turned to sculpture and is now best known for his life-sized work that portrays ordinary people communicating very realistic human gestures.
The Awakening, a 70 foot giant, is one of Johnson’s most dramatic works. Back in 1980, it was selected for the International Sculpture Conference Exhibition in Washington, D.C., and was originally located at Hains Point. Each of five separate aluminum pieces is buried in the ground, giving the impression that the full body is hidden beneath the surface. The man’s face, hands, and parts of the right foot and the left knee are the only pieces that are actually visible.
Today, visitors can stop by the National Harbor to witness, first hand, the passionate energy that radiates from the installation of this distressed man, trying to break free from the earth.