The sculpture by artist Noam Braslavsky depicts the founder of Israel's centrist Kadima party with his eyes open and his stomach rising as if he were breathing, The Jewish Chronicle reported Wednesday.
Sharon has been in a coma since 2005 when he suffered a stroke.
Braslavsky told CNN his work "allows people in Israel to mourn the former leader. Israelis didn't have opportunity to mourn, and it's come to be a kind of taboo that nobody touches," he said.
He said his intention was to get people talking about Sharon but adds that he knows his artwork has caused controversy in Israel.
Kadima party MP Yoel Hassoon called the work "sickening voyeurism."
A spokesman for the Kishon gallery said visitors will only be allowed to view the exhibit in small groups.