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HOT: Ron Mueck, Gallery of Modern Art, Southbank

Ron Mueck is a Melbourne-born London-based sculptor who first made a name for himself on the international art scene through the notorious Sensation exhibition of young British artists held by Charles Saatchi in 1997 (which also included the now-famous works of Damien Hurst and Tracy Emin). Mueck also represented Australia at the 2001 Venice Biennale.

From tomorrow until 1 August the Gallery of Modern Art will be holding Australia’s largest ever exhibition  of Mueck’s realistic portrayals of creased, flabby, veiny and hairy people of all ages, genders and conditions – and one very large trussed chicken. Some of the sleeping subjects were so real I fully expected them to be breathing softly.

Ron Mueck

Mueck’s method of enlarging or shrinking the proportions of his subjects makes them unnverving, poignant, humorous and puzzling.

DSC08734v1 HOT: Ron Mueck, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Southbank

DSC08706v1 HOT: Ron Mueck, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Southbank

I think his large works were more striking for me, as the size amplified the people’s often wary, frightened, isolated and quizzical expressions. The small works turned the people into dolls and it was easier to feel detached from their emotions – though others may disagree.

DSC08766v1 HOT: Ron Mueck, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Southbank

DSC08719v1 HOT: Ron Mueck, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Southbank

I actually found it more interesting to observe other people’s reactions to the artworks rather than the sculptures themselves. In particular, parents seem to have a penchant for posing their frightened kids next to the giant bloodied baby or the huge hairy naked man. A far cry from Disneyland, Dad.

DSC08695v1 HOT: Ron Mueck, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Southbank

I was also bemused by this girl who squatted, transfixed by a dangling chicken’s head. ‘Stay there love, let me take a photo of you with the big chicken.’

DSC08791v1 HOT: Ron Mueck, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Southbank

DSC08808v1 HOT: Ron Mueck, NGV International, 180 St Kilda Rd, Southbank

To read more reviews of the exhibition, check out Art Blart.

This review originally published on our sister blog, MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne when the exhibition was showing at the National Gallery of Victoria.

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Discussion

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  1. Incredibly unique! And yes, very unnerving! Had to look twice several times!

    Posted by Richard Brisbane | April 17, 2011, 11:32 am

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