FLEMINGTON, NJ – At a quick glance, they might appear to be ordinary people engaged in routine things. But there is nothing ordinary about them, and their creator admits that his aim, in part, is to mess with your mind.
They are sculptures created by J. Seward Johnson. The New Jersey native’s work is on display across the globe, but locally he may be best known for the works installed at Grounds for Sculpture, a 42-acre park in Hamilton that he helped found.
Soon, some are coming to Flemington.
“I want my work to disappear into the landscape,” Johnson says on the Grounds for Sculpture website, “and then take a viewer by surprise. After he gets over the shock of being fooled, it becomes an emotional discovery ... Then he owns the sculpture."
As many visitors to Grounds for Sculpture discover, they invite interaction. Visitors often pose for selfies and group photos with the striking figures, and that’s why Flemington Community Partnership is having some staged here. They are expected to arrive Sept. 13.
“Our goal is to create maximum enjoyment of the sculptures,” said FCP Executive Director Ann Meredith, “and to drive foot traffic to our businesses.”
FCP budgeted $10,000 for the sculptures. They’ll be taking up residence at Unity Bank, Stangl Road, Barkley's Gourmet Marketplace, Kries Jeweler and, pending final approval, the Flemington Borough Library.
Meredith said FCP is busy planning activities for the fall “that will enable residents and visitors to enjoy these treasures in fun, interactive and creative ways that will make the sculptures even more life-like and engaging.”
They’ll be here for just three months. When they move on, all that will be left will be memories and, no doubt, countless selfies.
Which one is your favorite?