A good night’s sleep

Would you be comfortable with being photographed while asleep? What if your photograph ended up, one among dozens, on a giant canvas on a wall of a major museum, scrutinised by thousands of visitors, be it art lovers, habitual museum-goers or the occasional curious?

Steven Shearer
Sleep II 2015
Ink jet print on canvas

For Sleep II Shearer amassed thousands of found images of people sleeping. He painstakingly crafted the work into a rhythmically balanced composition, paying special attention to combinations of subject matter, scale and colour. Some individuals sleep peacefully, some in a near ecstatic state, while others seem eerily close to death. In representing the universal state of sleeping, the artist invites us to witness a vast and intimate record of anonymity. 

National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

October 29th, 2017


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