Untitled (Big man)
Untitled (Big man) by Ron Mueck, 2000, Sculpture, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C.
The Hirshhorn is probably my favorite museum, just because I love all the modern art they display there. Each piece is so different and unusual that each trip to the Hirshhorn is like an adventure and a satisfying experience all-around. The first time I went to the museum was as part of a class field trip to the D.C. mall. Everyone was fascinated by the “giant statue of a naked man” on the third floor, so I went up to see it. This sculpture was sitting in the corner of a seemingly empty room, startling all who entered with his obesity, nudity, and intense look of disdain. Everything about him just seems so unappealing, yet everyone was transfixed by Mueck’s work of art.
Shortly after, the Hirshhorn sent the “big naked man” on tour around the world, and it wasn’t until recently that he returned. Though many other fascinating works of art have stood in his place (including a completely empty room with a prosthetic leg sticking out of the side wall), nothing has really captured the essence of the Hirshhorn (and modern art in general) as well as “Untitled (Big man)” and I, for one, am excited to see his return to his rightful home. And yes, as I’m sure you were wondering, the sculpture is anatomically correct.