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17 Sep 2019

Introducing Man Baby.

Written by sally @ 3:15 pm — Section: sally

For years, each time I go to DC, I visit a piece of art that I call My Lady. She is a hyperrealistic sculpture of a sad looking woman eating a banana split. I have a picture of her framed in my home. I think she is amazing and beautiful. I know how to draw a picture (albeit poorly), but I don’t know how make a lady.

“Woman Eating”, Duane Hanson, 1971

She also reminds me of this girl I went to middle school with who once wrote this in a slam book in response to the question Who do you want to do it with?: “Anyone, anytime, anywhere.”

I visited her in June, but before I went back to DC a few weeks ago, something else on the Hirshhorn website caught my eye. His name might officially be “Untitled (Big Man)”, but I call him Man Baby. I sent a picture of him to my traveling companion and said THIS IS WHAT WE’RE DOING THURSDAY.

Untitled (Big Man), Ron Mueck, 2000

We wandered around the Hirshhorn for awhile looking at things we didn’t understand, hoping for a glimpse of Man Baby. “Where is Man Baby?” we asked each other. “Where have they put Man Baby?” And then we found him, and he is literally in a corner. Someone put Man Baby in a corner! Oh, Man Baby! You didn’t disappoint. Man Baby is a big old giant naked man. (My mother asked if he is anatomically correct, and the answer is yes. His official portrait keeps his secrets, but I know them ALL.) As I haven’t visited him every year for 15 years, I can’t say I know his story yet, but he is fascinating. Why is he naked? Why is his giant scrotum resting on the floor? What is that look on his face? Why are his eyes shifty? I hope to find out, and also to write some weird fan fiction where Man Baby and My Lady get together when the museums are closed for deep conversation, hand holding, and gazing into each other’s sad, shifty eyes.

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