Have you ever looked at artwork that so accurately reflected the subject that you had a hard time telling whether or not it was a photograph? Or maybe you’ve seen those street performers that cover themselves in paint and stand super still, but scare you when you stand too close or try to take a picture with it. Ron Mueck is a hyper-realist sculptor who creates sculptures that bear an uncanny resemblance to their muses. But it’s not too challenging to tell the sculpture apart from the real person– usually because the sculpture is either scaled up or scaled down to a ridiculous size. The change in perspective it provokes is very powerful.
Take babies for example. I was telling my friend the other day that there is no such thing as an ugly baby. Why else would every new mother post so many pictures and videos of her child on Facebook, and why else would those pictures and videos get so many likes. But after looking at this specific piece by Mueck, I realized that ugly babies might actually exist. We just don’t notice because they are small and anything that small is automatically categorized as “cute.”
Oh man! When a baby is that big, it looks frightening! She’s no longer that cute little person who depends on you for love and nurturing. Then again, if you stand really, really far away, she starts to look cute again. Some things are just all about perspective.