April 21, 2009
“Ron Mueck (born 1958) is an Australian hyperrealist sculptor working in Great Britain.
Mueck’s early career was as a model maker and puppeteer for children’s television and films. He moved on to establish his own company in London, making photo-realistic props and animatronics for the advertising industry. Although highly detailed, these props were usually designed to be photographed from one specific angle hiding the mess of construction seen from the other side. Mueck increasingly wanted to produce realistic sculptures which looked perfect from all angles.
In 1996 Mueck transitioned to fine art, collaborating with his mother-in-law, Paula Rego, to produce small figures as part of a tableau she was showing at the Hayward Gallery. Rego introduced him to Charles Saatchi who was immediately impressed and started to collect and commission work. This led to the piece which made Mueck’s name, Dead Dad, being included in the Sensation show at the Royal Academy the following year. Dead Dad is a rather haunting silicone and mixed media sculpture of the corpse of Mueck’s father reduced to about two thirds of its natural scale. It is the only work of Mueck’s that uses his own hair for the finished product.
Mueck’s sculptures faithfully reproduce the minute detail of the human body, but play with scale to produce disconcertingly jarring visual images.
In 1999 Mueck was appointed as Associate Artist at the National Gallery, London. During this two year post he created the works Mother and Child, Pregnant Woman, Man in a Boat and Swaddled Baby. In 2002 his sculpture Pregnant Woman was purchased by the National Gallery of Australia for AU$800,000.”