Friday, April 15, 2011

Ron Mueck

Some of my favorite art is that which causes the viewer to give a double take--art whose illusion of reality nearly overwhelms the act of its creation. Ron Mueck's work is an example of such art. While Mueck began his artistic career working on scenery and lending voices to characters on an Australian children's show, he found a higher calling, producing the fantastic, hyper-realistist human forms. This alone isn't that exciting. Special effects people have been recreating the human form for decades. The factor that make's Mueck's work different is not readily aparent in photographs--but when you notice the size of the viewers present, it's jarringly obvious. Scale. Each of Mueck's figures has been exanpded to 2 or 3 times their normal size, or inversely, has been shrunken to fit in your pocket. One of the beauties of this work is that these changes in size do not come at the expense of detail, or proportion. Each figure exists alone in its own surreal world of enormity or insignificance, and each has something to say about those factors in every human being.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ernst Haekel

If you ever want to feel like an under achiever, look no further than the works of Ernst Haekel, actually, just look at his life. Haekel lived from 1834 to 1919, and was notable for simultaneously being a biologist, artist, physician, professor, and naturalist. He catalogued over a thousand new species, often meticulously depicting them in his fine art. He tirelessly promoted Charles Darwin's work and the theory of evolution. He did slip up however, in his uninformed assumption that different races of people comprised different species. Oops. I guess we'll have to let that one slide in the light of how fantastic his depictions of his biological escapades turned out. I'm especially fond of the multi-colored sea creatures, which I wish were printed on my shower curtain instead of the map of the world.

Biography courtesy of Wikipedia