Unconditional Surrender

by Kevin January. 06, 2010 1959 views

Located in downtown Sarasota, FL (though it spent three years in San Diego, CA), this 2005 statue by John Seward Johnson II dominates the nearby intersection and park.

A life-size bronze statue titled Unconditional Surrender (2005), is based on the photograph Kissing the War Goodbye by Victor Jorgensen. However, the Jorgensen photographic image does not extend low enough to include the lower legs and shoes of the subjects, but are revealed in Alfred Eisenstaedt's famous photograph V??J day in Times Square that is represented identically in the statue. A spokesperson for Life has called it a copyright infringement of the latter image. A twenty-five-foot-version have been constructed in aluminum with little detail, painted, and put on display by Johnson in Sarasota, Florida. It's immensity has drawn crowds of viewers although the view of them from nearby is severely limited, essentially allowing a vista of the legs and up the skirt.

A proposal to establish a permanent location for this copy on the Sarasota bay front is generating a heated controversy about the suitability of the statue to the location, suitability as a military service memorial, the permanent placement of any statue on that public property, as well as the particular issues of unoriginality, mechanical construction, and kitschiness of the statue.

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