Just outside Atocha Station (a transportation hub also known for its own tropical garden), a pair of gigantic, realistic baby heads greet passengers. Made of bronze, they stand 3 meters (or nearly 10 feet) tall and weigh over 2 tons each. Although they may seem slightly creepy, the story behind these sculptures is a sweet one.
The baby heads, installed here in 2008, are the work of the Spanish artist Antonio López García. They represent “Day” (Día) and “Night” (Noche). One of them has its eyes open and the other has its eyes shut. Designed in López García’s realistic style, the meaning behind the freestanding baby heads may leave viewers scratching their own heads. But actually, both are based on the face of López García’s granddaughter Carmen, when she was only eight months old.
Born in a rural town in 1936, López García came to Madrid when he was 13 years old to study art. He first arrived at Atocha Station, and made his name as an artist in the following years. So it’s quite fitting to find his baby granddaughter here, even though most people pass by the heads without knowing their background.