Ron Mueck and Guy Ben-Ner share a common interest in the immediate world around them: their families, marriages, daily events and their homes. Ben-Ner's family members serve as actors in his videos while Mueck often uses relatives and close acquaintances as models for his sculptures.
Guy Ben-Ner, Stealing Beauty (2007), photo [Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton AB, Jun 21-Sep 7]
Ron Mueck is an Australia-born, London-based artist who has become famous for his hyper-realist self-portraits and his larger-than-life sculptures of mothers, babies and young children. Mueck's early career was as a model maker and puppeteer for children's television and film until his artwork was promoted by Charles Saatchi. He captures every nuance of mottled skin, facial pores and surface veins in extremely startling figures that have a magical, almost existential quality.
Israeli-born Guy Ben-Ner, based in Berlin and New York, creates seemingly innocent and simple "home videos" that are actually the result of hours of careful filming and editing, often over the course of a year. His narratives have been described as having "clearly delineated plots from beginning to end that interrogate such archetypal human concepts as love and marriage, necessity and shelter, desire and responsibility." His work, inspired by silent film as well as by his wife and children, has such humourous and ironic titles as Honey I Shrunk the Kids and Treehouse Kit.
The exhibit is curated by Jonathan Shaughnessy, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada, where it was shown in 2008. A bilingual catalogue accompanies the show.