For this exhibition, Mueck has created five new works. The naked Wild Man is a monumental seated figure who appears tense and fearful. Spooning Couple represents a man and woman lying in bed together in a fetal position, suggesting both intimacy and solitude. Mask III is the portrait of a black woman wearing an expression of peace and content. Two Women depicts a pair of elderly ladies as they gaze off into the distance. In Bed portrays a giant female figure who is gently waking up in her bed.
Whether monumental or smaller than life, Ron Mueck’s sculptures create a tension between the real world and a world of the phantasmagorical. His pensive characters are so lifelike that they seem to breathe. Veins, wrinkles, body hair, blemishes… no detail is neglected. The result is so perfect that the pieces’ resemblance to “real life” can be quite disturbing. After years of working with fiberglass alone, he also uses silicone, a more flexible substance that allows him to directly implant head and body hairs one by one. Ron Mueck has succeeded in coining a language in which artistic realism is brought into the realm of psychology, evoking the personal world of each character. Accessories such as a piece of clothing or some bed linen hint at a plot, suggesting a larger environment that allows each viewer to elaborate his own personal narrative.