Ron Mueck: Body of Work

Ron Mueck is an Australian hyper-realist sculptor working in the UK. His incredible sculptures of creepy, grotesque, mottled skin and uncannily gigantic proportional figures have adorned the Millennium Dome as well as Charles Saatchi’s living room for a number of years now. It would be fair to say, Mueck’s one of the leading contemporary artists of today.

His early career was as a model maker and puppeteer for children’s television and films, notably the film “Labyrinth” staring Bowie. Mueck moved on to establish his own company in London, making photo-realistic props and animatronics for the advertising industry. This eventually led him to conclude, “photography pretty much destroys the physical presence of the original object”, and so he turned to fine art, in particular, sculpture.

Mueck’s work, while proportionally correct, is either over or under-sized. For example, an enormous 4.5m crouching Boy, a 3 ft tall naked man, a 20 ft long newborn, a replica of his own head (pictured above) six times its actual size. Consequently, his hyper-realistic sculptures, while extraordinarily lifelike, challenge us by their odd scale. The “psychological confrontation for the viewer is to recognize and assimilate two contradictory realities.” More from a lengthy article (the title of which is borrowed here) that appeared in the Daily Telegraph by Drusilla Beyfus prior to his first Scottish exhibition in 2006.

“Sopranos Painting”

Via Reuters:

Actors James Gandolfini and Edie Falco, who played Tony and Carmela Soprano in the hit HBO TV series ‘The Sopranos’ that ran from 1999 to 2007, stare at each other in profile just as the Duke and Duchess of Urbino in Piero della Francesca’s 15th Century original. It sold for $175,000 to a Canadian real estate agent. It was painted by Sopranos supporting actor Federico Castelluccio, who played Sicilian hit man Furio Giunta, who fell in love with Carmela.

The title of the diptych is “The Duke and Duchess of North Caldwell.” The original Renaissance work can be seen here.

Check The Fine Print

Attention: Blogging Tories

Before the usual suspects amidst your ranks jump on the “Gotcha!” bandwagon and start launching a volley of “I told you so” posts in reaction to this, you might want to check the American Physical Society website first:

APS Position Remains Unchanged

The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007:

“Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate.”

An article at odds with this statement recently appeared in an online newsletter of the APS Forum on Physics and Society, one of 39 units of APS. The header of this newsletter carries the statement that “Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum.” This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed.

Sorry to rain on your parade. Please resume your regularly scheduled moaning, whining and hysterical shrieking about something or other.

Update: The Burning Stupidity

Unsurprisingly, it turns out that Kate jumped the gun over at SDA this morning. “50,000 new deniers” her post misleadingly crows. Um, not. That figure represents the total membership of The American Physical Society which, as noted below, has NOT changed its previously stated position regarding the effect of greenhouse gases on the environment.

Unfortunately, this is the kind of thoughtless, knee-jerk reaction that’s all too typical of those eager to poke holes (or is that shoot bullets) in the theory of anthropogenic global warming. The slavish hordes will doubtless follow blindly, to wit this delusional commenter:

Science doesn’t matter to these folks. They come in two types, the shrewd and seasoned socialist political huckster that sees a big transfer of wealth opportunity and the poor little lefty empty vessels who have replaced the old God for the new Atmospheric God. Atmospheric God requires constant diligence and sacrific [sic] with a whole new set of sins to avoid. And, a big bonus point for the score settling victim whiners with new Atmospheric God, it’s a She, Mother Nature. I’m not that far off the wall, do you think?

As a matter of fact, yes, I do.

By the way, as for the Viscount’s “dazzling debunking of climate change science,” according to George Monbiot (who does have a science degree), “There is scarcely a line in Lord Monckton’s paper which is not wildly wrong.”

The McCain Report

Another great entry in Colbert’s “Make John McCain More Interesting” greenscreen challenge featured on the show last night.

I never noticed before that included in the various descriptive titles that zoom past as he’s waving the flag (e.g., POWERFUL, PHLEGMATIC, INCISIVE, COURAGEOUS, EXCEPTIONAL, etc.) one of them says “PRESIDENT BUSH HAVE A HOT DOG WITH ME.” Just thought you’d like to know that.

Weeping For “Nicholas The Bloody”

Forever dumb as a box of old rocks, Blogging Tory “dr. roy” blubbers over the “atrocity” at Ekaterinburg in 1918.

This article describes the horrible martyrdom of the Holy Royal Martyrs. The Soviet communist regime wasfoundedd [sic] on the murder of men, woman and children. No wonder the evil just continued. The people of Russia are beginning to understand the atrocity that was done in their name.

Ah yes, Russian Emperor Nicholas II, the deeply incompetent, feeble-minded autocrat directly responsible for the murderous events in Kishinev in 1903 (45 dead, hundreds wounded), Odessa in 1905 (more than 300 dead, thousands injured), and almost seven hundred state-sponsored pograms between October 11-29, 1905 that murdered hundreds of Jews and wounded thousands more. The bungling “holy royal martyr” that led his hopelessly ill-prepared and woefully mismanaged nation into WWI, a calamity of epic scale resulting in 3.3 million military and civilian deaths and the wounding of almost 5 million soldiers.

Thank goodness that “conservatives” don’t suffer from the scourge of moral relativism that’s said to afflict liberals!