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  • Writer's pictureBeyond the Canvas

Ron Mueck at Fondation Cartier, Paris

“I never made life-size figures because it never seemed to be interesting. We meet life-size people every day.” - Ron Mueck


Mueck's work thrives off the conflation of the hyper-realistic and the surreal. His work conjures illusions of reality so precise and meticulous that they end up exceeding what we perceive to be real. It's a thin line - or is it - and it raises the question of how something that looks so authentic in every detail can also look so other-worldly. The simple answer, I believe, is in the manipulation of scale. Mueck's magnified and exaggerated visual appearances cross the border into the uncanny.


Thanks to its ts monumental scale and verisimilitude A Girl (2007) oozes an intensity that is unlikely to leave anyone indifferent: the smears of blood, the shiny stickiness of the placenta, the skin folds, the puffy face and that vaguely judgmental look newborns have in the first hours after their arrival into this world (can you blame them?). Looking at the representation of the miracle of birth in all its tenderness and gore delivered an equal split of amazement and repulsion.


However, the more I think about it, the more I feel that Mueck's undeniable virtuosity has left me hanging between admiration and doubt. Is his work thought-provoking and poignant or is it gaudy and shallow? Answers on a postcard because I honestly do not know.






Ron Mueck

A Girl (2006)

Acrylic on polyester resin and fibreglass 110.5 x 134.5 x 501 cm


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