The businessman survived September 11, 2001 covered in debris. Johnson has called his sculpture an iconic "stand-in" for those who didn't make it.
Johnson is also known for his life sized sculptures of ordinary people in contemporary life situations. These sculptures have been placed in public settings throughout the world, including Double Check, which depicts a businessman sitting on a bench going through his briefcase. Located on New York City's Liberty Street near the World Trade Center, it has since become an impromptu memorial.
Double Check, 1982, J. Seward Johnson, Jr., 1 Liberty Plaza. Bronze life-size statue, placed on metal bench. [I've seen two different photos of this, covered with rubble.]
11 November 2001, New York Times, "Bronze Survivor of Sept. 11 Dusts Himself Off" by Stuart Miller, pg. CY12:
Made by J. Seward Johnson Jr. in 1982, the bronze man hunched over his briefcase in Liberty Park was knocked loose from its bench by World Trade Center debris on Sept. 11 and has subsequently been moved several times. (It's now behind a fence in Liberty Park.)
"Double Check" achieved iconic status when photographs showed it covered in ash and surrounded by debris. Then, when rescue workers and volunteers covered the sculpture with flowers, notes, pictures and hard hats, the bronze businessman nearly disappeared beneath the tributes.
1 June 2006, New York Daily News, pg. 30:
Seward Johnson's "Double Check" sculpture was dented but unbroken in the rain of 9/11 debris. It became a monument to survival as rescue workers put a hardhat and other mementoes on it.
New York City • Public Sculpture • (0) Comments • Thursday, June 01, 2006 • Permalink