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Social Commentaries Gallery by Sculptor Barry Woods Johnston

"Johnston views life as a complexity. He doesn’t hide from life’s brutal truths. At the same time, he neither wallows in self-indulgent cynicism nor embraces ugliness for its shock value or for its own sake. He takes in the beauty and the truth of life along with the lies and the perversions, the joy, anguish, acts of betrayal and kindness. Within his soul Johnston ruminates upon the great bewildering human morass, then with effort and some grief, he transforms this raw matter into an object of beauty to comfort us. The best way to view a work by Johnston is to receive it as an act of compassion and a generous gift. His art can make the harsh world more comprehensible and sometimes even fill it with grace." — American Arts Quarterly magazine, Spring 2001.
(Select images to enlarge)
"The Bureaucrat", 1990  Life-size, Bronze 
Called "The String Pulling Bureaucrat with His Red Tape," this life-size bronze is a commentary on the effects of bureaucracy on our society and daily lives.
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"The Four Apocalyptic Horses", 1985 Bronze Relief

A dynamic depiction of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse riding towards a modern city on the horizon, seemingly in flames.  A sense of immediacy and terror are conveyed by the unusual perspective and the vigor of the figures.

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"Millennium 2000", 1999 Bronze Medal 

This medal is designed to stimulate reflection by looking at the relationship of "conscience and consciousness." The obverse side, "conscience," is represented by a female figure nurturing the core of her being, her inner world. From her center is born a deep inner knowing or conscience, where lies the heart of human awareness. This circle, also representing the earth, becomes a portal to the reverse side of the medal which addresses "consciousness" -- a greater awareness of our responsibilities to ourselves, others, and the world about us.

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"Attempted Rescue," 1999  

While two structures come crushing in like a vice on two figures, one reaches upward in a desperate effort to save a fallen colleague.  The work is reminiscent of the New York Twin Towers collapse.


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"Olympia", 1998  

All of us hope to make a meaningful contribution with our lives. No event in modern history conjures more positive energy in support for world peace than the Olympics.  The three Olympic medalists introduce the vitally important human element of the games. Excellence, a central theme of the sports events, encompasses not only the acknowledgment of individual achievement but the spirit of teamwork, camaraderie, and sportsmanship.  The torch symbolizes hope and the quest for excellence through athletic achievements, emphasizing the spirit of individual commitment and teamwork.

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"Global Madness", 1988 35" x 64" Bronze 
Showing the utter mindlessness and inhumanity of war. Spears penetrate a circle of global unity, thrusting inward toward the center while the fringes are ripped apart, destroying innocents. The inward thrust of aggression ignites a critical mass at the center, causing an outward explosion.
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"Chaos", 1991 61" x 30" x 19" Bronze 

Reminiscent of the crucifix, expresses the angst and desperation prevalent in our modern times. The individual is shown suspended between brutal abstract forces, accentuating the disparity prevalent in today's society.


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  Participating Galleries   |   Artist  |  Guest Book  HOME   |   Purchase  Brochure Information  |  Links 

Featured Works    |  Fountains    |  Collector's Choice   |  Interior Decorating   |   Shakespeare Series  |   Religious Themes
Mythological Themes  |  Social Commentaries   |  Commissions  |  Marbles   |  Portraits  |   Medals & Reliefs Gallery


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