Ron Mueck

Wild Man


Mixed media
Displayed: 2850 x 1619 x 1080 mm
weight: 1311 Kilograms
ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008

Online caption

Although Mueck’s sculptures are astonishingly lifelike (despite their scale!), verisimilitude is not what ultimately matters to the artist, but the ends to which it is put. The artist wants us to believe that his figures are experiencing certain emotions and for us to empathise with these feelings. ‘Wild Man’ shows signs of extreme anxiety, even terror; he grips the stool and his toes press down onto the floor. The artist has made him look doubly vulnerable. Despite dwarfing us mere mortals who look at him – he is nearly three metres high – his state of ongoing fear elicits a sympathetic response from us. Instead of our feeling intimidated by him, he seems intimidated by us.