Tom Frantzen has been approached several times by district committees and cultural groups to create sculptures relating to Brussels' cultural legacy.
It is not surprising. Tom Frantzen, who was born and bred in Brussels, appreciates the "zwanze", a unique form of humour which he thinks is characterized by the absurdity and surrealism that stem from the mixture of languages so typical of Brussels. Because this type of humour is "becoming extinct" (as he says), the artist tries to perpetuate it and to confront the next generations with it. For this "zwanze" to remain integrated in the minds and in the streets, the artist really wanted his works to be sealed in the streets' pavements and he was concerned that pre-existing elements of the surrounding environment (manhole covers, lampposts, mileposts, etc) be used as part of his works.
Designed to create a dynamics between two streets, this sculpture beams with its presence in the space that was allocated to the artist. The monument is precious to Belgium's (and especially Brussels') collective memory. It contributes to the connection of "the people who pass by" on two interactive parameters: the space of what is real and the time of what is imaginary.
Looking at the lady closely, one notices the artist's "zwanze" again: she is fearlessly counting her money in an area of Brussels that is famous for its pickpockets. She even teases them with her unsnatchable bronze wallet!
Madame Chapeau is one of the colourful characters of "Bossemans et Copenolle", a 1938 comedy by Paul van Stalle and Joris d'Hanswijck, which features old Brussels' "petits bourgeois". This play is part of Belgium's cultural heritage.
This object is part of "Scan The World". Scan the World is a non-profit initiative introduced by MyMiniFactory, through which we are creating a digital archive of fully 3D printable sculptures, artworks and landmarks from across the globe for the public to access for free. Scan the World is an open source, community effort, if you have interesting items around you and would like to contribute, email email@example.com to find out how you can help.