3 December 2014

What matters


In the flesh is not a big exhibition. You can visit it in a short time. But it's exquisite in both its super-real presence and its attention to matters of humanity, what it means to be human. The works are in two dimensions, often bright, sometimes monochromatic, or in three, sculptural works big and small. There are two video works. There are some unexpectedly large pieces balanced with unexpectedly small works. There are super-real images of humans, but also of absurd blends of human and other or even imagined species. You respond immediately with surprise at the beauty and realism, but also with emotion and empathy. And the imagined species arouse the same responses. It's a bizarre experience; unexpected and gentle, often twisted, but honest and humane. You may have caught some of the odd images in passing, perfect babies with frogs, lovers lying naked with fox heads, boy with imagined species, distance drawn with superb accuracy, restlessness in miniature detail, a modern Pietà. The themes are intimacy, empathy, transience, transition, vulnerability, alienation, restlessness, reflection, mortality and acceptance. The artists are Jan Nelson, Natasha Bieniek, Patricia Piccinini, Juan Ford, Petrina Hicks, Ron Mueck, Yanni Floros, Sam Jinks, Michael Peck and Robin Eley. A must see, not least as an antidote for the current state of our country and our world. Follow the link below for a preview but attend the real thing for the breathtaking intimacy.

In the flesh exhibit is at the National Portrait Gallery and features artists Jan Nelson, Natasha Bieniek, Patricia Piccinini, Juan Ford, Petrina Hicks, Ron Mueck, Yanni Floros, Sam Jinks, Michael Peck and Robin Eley.

  • In the flesh (preview) NPG
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