Suspended Animation

The Serene, Creepy Beauty
of Hyperrealist Sculptures

Perhaps, it’s the wax, a material that serves so well to depict the human body in such a lifelike manner as to scare the children out of the room.
Or it may be the scale accuracy of these sculptures, that could fool the untrained eye of a passerby into thinking that this person is only immerse in deep thought, to be so still in the middle of the crowd.
Maybe is the fact that they are all shown either sleeping or in a serene, contemplative mood, leading one to expect their eyes to pop open at any instant and stare back at you.
There’s something so elusive and so scary about the Sleeping Woman With Candles as to make one doubt whether our own carnality is as real as we’re used to believe, since it can be disguised and emulated so well in the talented hands of the author.
The area of our brain that gets lit at the sight of the Man With Eyes Closed, as if meditating about the work of art ahead of him, has to be at least close to those regions that get active when we face a dead body in a state of repose.
The Swimmer and The Man Resting have both such a sense of finality about them that one would be hard pressed to spend a single night alone with them. The same way most of us would refuse to sleep in an deserted clothing store, surrounded by empty-eyed mannequins.
And yet, none of what’s been said, or the titles we attributed to each of the sculptures, has anything to do with the artists’ original intent or titles, whatever they were. We won’t speculate about that either.
It’s suffice for now to just take in the oddness of these images, their strange and glacial appeal, their otherworldliness.
And the unsettling notion that they could fool us. They could be out there and we would have a hard time spotting them.
For all we care and fear, in some alternate reality, they could occupy our place on this side of the mirror and be equally spooked by the sight of our wasteful fussing and turning.

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