Bronze, finished with a special grey coating
100 x 210 x 76 cm
Istanbul Museum of Modern Art Collection
Hans Op de Beeck works address universal themes such as the meaning of life, death, and immortality, and contemporary human relations. The artist frequently depicts tragicomic situations centered on people who imagine themselves in the center of everything, thinking the world revolves around them. “Sleeping Girl” depicts a girl at life size, lying on a sofa, and invites the viewers to witness a child in her most off-guard state, while she is asleep, and she looks so lifelike we can practically see her breathing deeply and steadily even though all colors fade as the sculpture along with everything around it folds into grey to freeze in a moment. She is simultaneously there and not, as if her soul is wandering around in a parallel dimension.
“Sleeping Girl” effectively freezes time in order to create what the artist describes as a scene reminiscent of the people of the ancient city of Pompeii, buried under fallen ash, ossified in the positions and facial expressions they had at the time of eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The silent world around “Sleeping Girl” reminds us of the thin line between life and death, and invites us to question our own existence.