Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mueck in the Moment

I was reminded by an article of a friend, Christopher Jagers, of one of those few and vanishing moments when viewing contemporary art. You know the feeling - that sudden excitement, the singular second that you are truly surprised, and caught off guard.

With the greatest works of art, I find that moment of first discovery somehow continues. As if every time I see the piece is the first time. Something, incredibly rare in contemporary art.

What Mueck does is astounding, in technical virtuosity, in sheer guts and idealism. His is some of the little work that catches me off guard. But alas, it is not sustained.

My thoughts are that the payoff is in humanity. Psychology, emotion, iconic or narrative nature - these things give me something to connect with on an intuitive level. I would like to see his work with more facial expression. This piece above is the only one I've found so far that is not soul-less. The others, admittedly impressive, lack distinct and individual character. The faces do not look as if they are quite in contemplation, they appear empty and without meaning. They do not quite interact with themselves, the viewer, or each other (with the exception of this single piece). Yes, he captures the vitality of the skin, but the soul is barely missing. I would like to see more interaction like the one above. There's nothing more frustrating to me, than when something is so nearly there, but drops short. Call me a romantic, but perhaps these require a setting, perhaps more motion or body language, perhaps more dramatic lighting......

perhaps I am asking too much?


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