"Modern Man" Life-Size Bronze Sculpture - John Brevard

John Brevard

"Modern Man" Life-Size Bronze Sculpture

Revealed in bronze, Brevard's creation pierces the veil of our modern obsession: the smartphone as both sanctuary and prison. This sculpture—a man, caught not in prayer but in pixelated devotion-encapsulates our new ritualistic bondage to screens that program our perceptions and desires.
Through the artistic lens, this figure stands enshrined in contemplation, his gaze locked on a device. The phone, a nuanced nod to the 'forbidden fruit,' symbolizes not just temptation but the profound knowledge—and control—we unwittingly surrender to technology.
Brevard's work, cast in the enduring medium of bronze, confronts us with a mirrored reflection of our digital servitude, urging introspection on how deeply these devices have rewired our connections and spirituality. Are we merely users, or have we become the used?
John Brevard's "Modern Man" was inspired by Giacometti's "Pointing Man", an iconic expression of the midcentury era. Brevard has created a more geometric version with an antenna-like head and holding an iPhone in a reverse selfie to communicate our collective narcissism. The digitalization, minimization, and virtualization of modern technology suggests the liberation of our minds from all forms of materialism, especially as a form of self-enhancement.
This piece is a contemporary expression on a midcentury masterwork. Inspired by A 1947 bronze sculpture by Alberto Giacometti. The pointing man became the most expensive sculpture ever when it sold for US$141.3 million on 11 May 2015.
Giacometti made six casts of the work plus one artist's proof. Pointing Man is in the collections of New York's Museum of Modern Art, London's Tate Gallery, and the Des Moines Art Center. One of the others is also in a museum, and the rest are in foundation collections or owned privately.