Man in the Moon

Günter Grass

Man in the Moon
Man in the Moon
Cast Bronze
9.8 x 14.1 in. / 25 x 36 cm


Inspired by TV pictures, Grass begins shaping cloth-covered human figures in clay in the late 1990s. In his renewed engagement with the human body and body fragments, he creates a number of hollow parts, such as this bronze head. The sculpture's title – »Mann im Mond« (»Man in the Moon«) – is unusal for Grass, thus indicating that it is a metaphor. It is not clear, however, which attribute it refers to, apart from the round shape and smooth surface of the head that may suggest a »moon face«.

In contrast to the two flat heads in the courtyard, Grass is concerned here with the frontal view of the face, as the head looks directly at the observer from below. The eyes, nose, mouth, and ears are symmetrically arranged and worked out in detail. The profile is unusually flat and slightly distorted. As a result, the face radiates tranquility as well as indifference – like the moon, which rises »round and beautiful« night after night and wraps the world in silence.

Thematically appropriate works