Australian artist Ron Mueck is one of my latest discoveries. He creates incredibly detailed sculptures which resemble real humans in all ways except one: their size.
I find it fascinating how changing the size of something can alter its meaning. Miniature and gigantic people evoke very different responses.
Susan Stewart's On Longing has some insightful things to say about size:
"Our impulse is to create an environment for the miniature, but such an environment is impossible for the gigantic: instead the gigantic becomes our environment, swallowing us as nature or history swallows us" (89).
She has a few things to say about the grotesque as well. For Stewart, gigantism is a feature of the grotesque, as something exaggerated and carnivalesque. In contrast, "the miniature world remains perfect and uncontaminated so long as its absolute boundaries are maintained" (68).
The video below has a few more of Mueck's creations.
This documentary shows some behind the scenes footage of how the artist works. It's well worth a look, if you like the sculptures.