Friday, January 12, 2007

Art | Sculpture | Ron Mueck

Last Saturday I headed off to the Brooklyn Museum of Art to catch two exhibitions, the first a retrospective of Annie Liebowitz and the second some sculptures by sculptor Ron Mueck. Ever read Paul Arden's "Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite"? This is the sculptor mentioned by Arden who was formally trained as a model maker for TV and film but found his calling as a true artist. I was excited for the Liebowitz work, but the BMA was so unbelievably crowded that it was hard to much face time with her photographs, many of which were postcard-sized. The Mueck stuff, on the other hand, is large and imposing, and absolutely mind-blowing. It's larger-than-life sculptures in totally realistic poses, with expressions so realistic it looks as though they'll blink in any minute. Or small sculptures that look like little human dolls, replete with little fingernails and body hair. The sculptures are very impressive, especially upon realising that Mueck and a team of assistants go through a process that combines photography, drawing, sculpture, and model-making, every stage of the process a unique art form in and of itself. The exhibition prompts questions about the nature of 'realism' in today's art world, and whether you chose to dwell on such matters or leave such questions to the art pros, Mueck's sculptures are fascinating, right down to the last hair.

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