Watchman (1964) by Jasper Johns

Watchman - Jasper Johns - 1964

Artwork Information

ArtistJasper Johns
MediumOil on Canvas with objects
Dimensions215.9 x 153 cm (85 x 60 1/4")
Current LocationCollection Mr. Hiroshi Teshigahara, Tokyo

About Watchman

Jasper Johns, an American artist, created Watchman in 1964 while he was living in Tokyo. The painting is an oil on canvas with objects that consist of two panels and a wax cast of a friend’s leg, as well as half a standard dining table chair. Watchman is one of his most celebrated assemblage paintings and gained recognition for its textured surface.

The painting has an intriguingly textured surface which Johns achieved by using newspaper and fabric dipped in encaustic. He later placed plaster casts of his model’s lower face in the hinged wood box on top of the canvas to complete the artwork. What, a magisterial indexing of all forms of optical illusions followed “Watchman” in 1964.

Jasper Johns is widely known for exploring ordinary imagery through his art pieces; he creates complex works that challenge perceptions while inviting intellectual curiosity. His art has been displayed at acclaimed institutions worldwide throughout his career.

Overall, Watchman reflects Jasper John’s fascination with recognizable imagery juxtaposed with crafted elements to explore their input visually and conceptually.

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