Ron Mueck, Drift, 2009
Ron Mueck, who started his working life making models for children’s television before turning his attention and transferring his skills to art, makes the world look strange and often grotesque. His hyper-real figures vary dramatically in scale, from vastly larger than life to positively diminutive; the one thing they never are is life-size. His exhibition at Hauser and Wirth – Mueck’s first solo show in London in over a decade according to the press release – contains just four works but managed to give me quite a lot to think about nonetheless.
Drift occupies on wall of an otherwise empty gallery. A man floats on a lilo on a sea of turquoise. Well, I say he floats. It’s hard to see it any other way but the sea of turquoise is the wall so the floating is imagined given that the man and his lilo are vertical. He seems bathed in sunlight; his hands hang over the sides of the airbed, as though trailing water. He looks relaxed though his eyes are invisible behind his sun glasses and his face is slightly stern.