David Černý’s “Man Hanging Out” lifelike sculpture of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud hanging from a pole above a street in Prague is so realistic that it has prompted more than a few calls to emergency services.
In “The Man Hanging Out,” the non-conformist sculptor questioned the role of intellectualism in the 20th century –and it’s still relevant in the 2st century.
Known for his provocative works and defiant attitude toward authority, Černý painted pink a Soviet tank installed to commemorate the Russian liberation of the country in 1945. Local authorities deemed this an act of hooliganism and arrested him for civil disobedience.
The seven-foot-tall sculpture of Freud was created by Černý in 1996.
It depicts Freud seeming to contemplate the merits of life as he hangs from one hand and ponders whether to tighten his grip or release it. An alternate interpretation claims that the statue is an homage to a man who spent his life studying phobias (and dealt with a number of his own, including death). Another says it’s a challenge of Freud’s work.
Whatever its true meaning, “The Man Hanging Out” has even toured the world, having been displayed in such cities as London, Berlin, Seoul, Chicago, and Grand Rapids, Michigan.