Monday, October 13, 2008


In Bed, 2005
Ron Mueck
Mixed media, 63 3/4 x 255 7/8 x 155 1/2 in.
(mold of fiberglass, from clay most likely)

I am currently reading The Forgery of Venus by Michael Gruber, and there is many a mention of artists ranging from Velazquez to Ron Mueck. Just adding to my ideas for art of the day, today is Mueck.

Mueck's hyperrealistic figurative sculptures are awesome. I have seen his works at various shows over the years but was lucky enough to see his solo show at the Brooklyn Museum last year. The hour long wait to get in was well worth it. Mueck's sculptures are realistic not only in their technical showcasing but also in the emotional content of the works. On a technical level, he leaves no detail unturned, from leg hair to facial pores, the detail is exquisite. Yet these sculptures are not only about technical prowess. In Bed, as you can see is way beyond life-size, while some of his work is tiny. Each figure displays a strong emotional content, sometimes making the viewer uncomfortable, they are not automaton figures. Mueck came into fine art through work as a model maker and puppeteer in film (worked on Labyrinth).

Mueck is amongst a range of excellent figurative sculptors and his realism reminds me of Duane Hanson. Hanson's works focus on the everyday reality of the characters which he creates in his figures, a middle-aged woman shopping, a man waiting for the bus. The sculptures are so realistic they require a doubletake, as one could walk past without realizing it is art and not another person. A similarity in Mueck's work is the everyday, but a less obvious everyday. The concern and uncertainty in the eyes of the woman of In Bed, the intimate yet uncomfortable pose of the partners in Spooning Couple.

A video showing more of Mueck's work.

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