Lately Ukrainian internet bursted up with a new meme, whose hero is a WaitMan. The idea emerged from a sculpture by a Dutch artist Margriet van Breevoort in in 1990. The waiting creature - Homunculus Loxodontus - is sitting in front of the Leiden University in the city of Leiden, Netherlands. This endearing creature, a kind of cross between an elephant seal and a giant larva, sits on a chair in a waiting room. The creature has folded hands and large, sensitive eyes.
A little bit of history
Van Breevoort spent a couple of hours walking around in Leiden University Medical Center. She wandered along the corridors and saw the many waiting rooms. Then she made her decision: she would focus not on the researcher, but on the patient and the atmosphere in a hospital. ‘I was struck by all the waiting patiently that goes on. For instance in ophthalmology. Many elderly people with bleary eyes are waiting resignedly for their turn. Very typically, often with folded hands. That gives them an air of resignation, but you also see a ray of hope shining from their eyes.’ She wants her sculpture to elicit a response in the viewer: ‘The creature is waiting to be given some results. There’s something endearing about him, and as the viewer you hope it all turns out OK for him.’
WaitMan in Ukrainian realities
WaitMan in classic art
... and in present day life