Have you guessed what the work of art is yet? In 1995, Jake and Dinos Chapman created Ubermensch, a lifelike 12ft-tall fibreglass image of Hawking in his wheelchair perched on top of a rocky pinnacle. It was clearly not a homage to Hawking’s intellect or courage. Its title – meaning “Overman” or “superman”, a term used in Nietzsche’s philosophical writings – is plainly intended sarcastically. The work seems to suggest that Hawking, the modern superman, is a prisoner of his sick body. It stresses his carnal weakness and mocks the idea that his mind has somehow conquered matter.
It is less a work of art than a sneer.