Saturday, February 10, 2007

Three-dimensionality part three (footnote)

What art offers is space - a certain breathing room for the spirit.

John Updike

Big thanks to Mike Brent who after my February 6 post commented:

On a similar note, here's a super-cool video about Ron Mueck, ultra-realist sculptor extraordinaire:

25min documentary

small clip

His stuff is so real it's scary!

If you haven’t checked out these clips, please do. Shelley and I watched them last night (Shelley for the second time) and we were awed by how real and evocative Ron Mueck’s works are. Then I awoke this morning and realized that something was missing. It was the joy. There was no joy. Now, I do understand that art does not have to be joyful. In fact, part of its value is often to stir us up. Nevertheless, art for me is primarily pleasure and joy is the quality I look for as an inner response to what I am viewing.

With Anne Mitrani and Lisa Lichtenfels there is a compelling joyousness that draws me in. With Ron Mueck I am left outside the work as a neutral observer-perhaps not so neutral, because I feel a certain emptiness. Of course, my rambling thoughts do not take away from the brilliance of the work and the clips are really a must see.


Darkstrider said...

Hey, thanks for transferring that here to the main blog! I'm glad you and Shelley enjoyed it! Interesting observation.... I hadn't really thought about the work expressing emptiness, but now that you mention it it really does.

In some of the pieces however, I'm getting something very subtle and deep down, at an almost buried level, that appeals to me powerfully, and the best way I can describe it is - the ordinary; even the ugly raised to the level of the sublime. I especially feel it in his pregnant women, looking at the details. I don't know how he can do it, he must feel a deep love for all humanity to be able to make even ugly people somehow beautiful. Maybe I shouldn't say ugly, but drab or ordinary.

Ulysses said...

Thank you, Mike. Ron Mueck's work is compelling, the face of the pregnant woman has stayed with me.
Chatting with Shelley today I was able to clarify why I have such a thing about the joy in art. It is because life itself gives me a sufficient taste of the pain, tension, and struggle inherent within it. In many ways Mueck's work once again puts "reality" in my face. It brings up so much. Much food for thought here.