Sculpture in bronze (1985)

The passenger is disorientated and intrigued by the little bawling child, the father’s pitiful expression, the box-shaped torso, the stiff little arms and the monstrous feet and legs. The aviator is the father, who has already put on his headgear and fur collar, and who dreams of flying. The hat’s earflaps prevent him from hearing the child’s cries. The father dreams of flying, but in vain, as his legs are as heavy as lead. D’Haese explains that each of his sculptures starts off as fragments, pieces. He then converts these “pieces” of gauze and wax into bronze using the lost wax technique. The next phase consists of welding together all the different pieces so that the sculpture can acquire the character of something which does not yet exist. “L’Aviateur” was also put together in this way. The humorous impact is only one aspect of the image. When we observe it more closely, we notice that the smile gives way to tension, which in turn becomes alienation.