(Index) Finger, 1997
Pens, Pencils & Polyester Resin
Tim Hawkinson
Ace Gallery

Tim Hawkinson’s
artwork is more than slightly disturbing to me. As part of his artistic quest to reimagine the body, he takes found materials like pencils and transforms them into distorted, dismembered parts like this giant fingertip. It’s probably not Hawkinson’s intent, but (Index) Finger reminds me of the classic quote by “Red” Smith: “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.”

Hawkinson’s Fruit is a sort of fractal series of hands-on-fingers that, when I look at it too long, gives me gooseflesh:

Fruit, 2004
Ink-Jet Prints on Foam Core on Panel
Tim Hawkinson
Ace Gallery

Strange fruit indeed! It may be a personal thing, but just as CGI humans give me Uncanny Valley-induced creepy-crawlies, well-rendered but outsized/distorted human body parts freak me out. That’s my reaction to the sculptures of hyperrealist artist Ron Mueck, otherwise known as the “giant baby sculptor:”

Ron Mueck
Brooklyn Museum

Mueck’s sculptures look astonishingly realistic, almost alive – until you see gallery visitors or museum workers standing next to them, looking Lilliputian or Brobdignagian, depending on the sculpture. This video of Mueck’s work captures both the wonder and the jarring effect (although I warn you, the music’s over the top):

Via this excellent post at ScienceRoll


  1. #1 Bee
    June 12, 2008

    I hope Mueck’s works end up showing at a gallery near me – I think they are amazing pieces and would love to see them ‘in the flesh’.

  2. #2 Virginia
    January 20, 2010

    I have seen the giant baby head in the national Gallery in Ottawa. It is truly creepy and fascinating.

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