Ron Mueck: Body of Work

Ron Mueck is an Australian hyper-realist sculptor working in the UK. His incredible sculptures of creepy, grotesque, mottled skin and uncannily gigantic proportional figures have adorned the Millennium Dome as well as Charles Saatchi’s living room for a number of years now. It would be fair to say, Mueck’s one of the leading contemporary artists of today.

His early career was as a model maker and puppeteer for children’s television and films, notably the film “Labyrinth” staring Bowie. Mueck moved on to establish his own company in London, making photo-realistic props and animatronics for the advertising industry. This eventually led him to conclude, “photography pretty much destroys the physical presence of the original object”, and so he turned to fine art, in particular, sculpture.

Mueck’s work, while proportionally correct, is either over or under-sized. For example, an enormous 4.5m crouching Boy, a 3 ft tall naked man, a 20 ft long newborn, a replica of his own head (pictured above) six times its actual size. Consequently, his hyper-realistic sculptures, while extraordinarily lifelike, challenge us by their odd scale. The “psychological confrontation for the viewer is to recognize and assimilate two contradictory realities.” More from a lengthy article (the title of which is borrowed here) that appeared in the Daily Telegraph by Drusilla Beyfus prior to his first Scottish exhibition in 2006.

4 Replies to “Ron Mueck: Body of Work”

  1. Last fall, I took my two boys through museums in Munich, Vienna, Praque, and Budapest, and they longed for something with that kind of impact. They clearly saw too many cherubs for their liking.

    I found one show in Vienna that provided a dark visual artistry, and they liked it better than anything else.

    Pictures from medieval or renaissance sources don’t grab the younger folks. They are firmly riveted on the here and now.

    I kept telling them that life is like the crest of a breaking wave. Maybe they were listening.

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