As regular readers know I have an affinity for this sculpture by Ron Mueck. "Big Man" either looks like me or I like him. In several alternative poses I believe he speaks to some essential emotions I experience in my life. Today, however, I have a slightly different take on this piece of art.
I have mentioned in the past that I read Discovery magazine several years in arrears when my friend Gary passes along his old subscription copies. So recently I was surprised to see the "Big Man" on the cover of the February 2007 issue. The accompanying article was about killer fat and visceral obesity. What interested me, however, was the reader response in the April issue's letters to the editor. Here are two samples:
#1 I find the cover of the February issue of Discover highly offensive. In fact, I was embarrassed to find it in my mailbox. While I know it may be someone's art, it is my pornography. If I want a fat, naked man in my mailbox, I will order him.
#2 The cover kinda scared me when I first saw it. I was like, whoa, there's a naked dude on the front. I showed to to my mom, and she said, "Is that your father?" The glare he is giving looks exactly like the one my father gives me when he is disappointed. Kudos for the man on the cover.
"One man's poison is another man's bread." A phrase my father, a druggist, identified strongly with. In that vein, I couldn't agree more with the responses to the Big Man in all of his large, naked glory.