This “mountain of the sleeping woman” taken by a drone is a digital creation

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At the top of a mountain, a form of a sleeping woman would have been drawn naturally by the rocks. The miracle would be immortalized by the photo of a drone, in Alaska, Tibet, Mexico … In reality, the image is a work of a French artist, Jean-Michel Bihorel, who works on digital creations in three dimensions.

Shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media, this photo of a female form on top of a mountain range is accompanied by captions explaining that it is located in Tibet, in Mexico, in Kyrgyzstan, in Kazakhstan or even in Alaska. On some posts, the photo reaches half a million shares.

Many publications refer to it as the “Sleeping Lady Mountain”: some Internet users specify that the mountain is 50 km northwest of Anchorage, Alaska, and that it would be Mount Susitna, so nicknamed because of its form. Other shares explain that it is the Mexican volcano Iztaccihuatl, often nicknamed “the sleeping mountain”.

In fact, a quick reverse image search (we tell you how to do it here) as well as a careful examination of the comments under these numerous posts tell us that this is not a natural phenomenon, but a digital creation. French artist Jean-Michel Bihorel published this digital sculpture, on March 19, 2020, on its pages Instagram and Facebook with its title, “Winter Sleep”.

We can also find several images in better quality and with more details of this work. on the artist’s website, as well as on other artistic platforms like Art Station. On his YouTube channel, a short video of “Winter Sleep” can give the impression of a drone shoot, even though it is a digital creation.

“In the end, this story will have aroused the curiosity of the public”

Specialized in artistic digital creations since 2016, Jean-Michel Bihorel details on his site creating works that are as realistic as possible visually, by working extensively on light, volumes and materials. He specifies under the publication of “Winter Sleep” that he worked from scratch between 3D creation, detail work by hand and procedural environment generation, tools used for digital creation.

Contacted by the editorial staff of France 24 Observers, the artist explains that a few years before “Winter Sleep”, he had created another image with female body sleeping on mars to illustrate according to him the metaphor of the “rest of a planet”. The viral image of the woman asleep on a mountain comes from the same idea:

This snowy image carried the same message of rest of the planet and was published at the very beginning of the first containment, where a large part of the polluting activity was at a standstill. I had not anticipated this but I think this image resonated with these events and with the need for people to withdraw into themselves for reassurance.

From there people started saying it was a mountain in Kazakhstan, then other people picked up the fake news saying it was a mountain in Mexico and finally this image was compared to a mountain. in Alaska. Several television channels and newspapers even reported the news. There are still people on my own Instagram page who persist in providing potential coordinates for the location of this supposed mountain.

In the end, this story will have aroused the curiosity of the public and this helps to make people aware of this new form of art.

Two months ago, the artist announced on Facebook that he was now offering limited edition prints of this work for sale, after it “traveled the internet and made the buzz, mostly without mentioning that it was a work of art nor mention the name of the artist “. After “Winter Sleep”, Jean-Michel Bihorel published, on May 3, another human creation in an invented natural environment: a woman lying in a lava flow.

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