Ron Mueck
Australian sculptor



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Ron Mueck
Australian sculptor
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ebrowne's picture


You can never unsee a Ron Mueck sculpture.

Upon first look these colossal sculptures of incredibly life-like humans are burned into your brain forever. Mueck sculptures are like representations of our purest emotions in their rawest form. The work In Bed for example is a 21-foot-tall sculpture of a worried mom - a universal feeling if there ever was one, even if you’ve never actually procreated (where my dog moms at?). Everyone has that curler-donning, finger-tapping, chardonnay-sipping, insomniac of a maternal worry-wart inside of them.

Mueck was born in Australia in 1958 and started his artistic career as a puppeteer and puppet maker. It wasn’t the fab art life that Mueck wanted, so he moved all the way to London where he began to collaborate with his mother-in-law. She introduced him to all the right people which led him to commissions and eventually a spot in a show at the Royal Academy that traveled all over the world. And he’s been an art world hot shot ever since, exhibiting at venues like the Venice Biennale or whatever.

Despite his fame, Mueck has gotten some really mixed reviews for his work. A critic at The Guardian, Jonathan Jones very bluntly stated, “The sickness I felt was at the prospect of having to waste time, and words, on this flimsy gimcrack charade, on having to walk around with a straight face and pretend this is an exhibition. Of art.” He goes on to say that if you like this, then you should probably make yourself more familiar with “good” art and then return with a more informed perspective. The whole critique smells like emotional constipation and it was definitely Jonathan Jones’ inner Big Man who wrote the article. We all have one of those too.




  1. Jones, Jonathan. "Ron Mueck's Art: Big, Not Clever". the Guardian. N.p., 2006. Web. 9 May 2017.
  2. Saltz, Jerry. "Artnet.Com Magazine Features - Like Life". N.p., 2001. Web. 12 May 2017.
  3. Reilly, Jill. "Are These The Most Life-Like Sculptures Ever Produced?". Daily Mail. N.p., 2013. Web. 12 May 2017.
ajardini's picture

Sr. Editor

Ron Mueck, an Australian-born German sculptor, wasn’t always a hotshot artist. His career actually started as a puppeteer, which led him to work on several children’s shows. He was a voice actor in the trippy kid’s movie Labyrinth and made models for Jim Henson.

Mueck started his own animatronics company where he made pops for advertising companies. He became interested in making sculptures that don’t just look good on camera, but are hyperrealistic in person, too. These sculptures play with scale, and he is most famous for his huge human figures which are sometimes a complete body, and at other times just a part of one. Mueck also makes his bodies smaller than reality, like the piece Dead Dad which is a portrait of his deceased father at about 75% normal size. Creepily enough, he used his own hair for that one.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Ron Mueck

Hans Ronald Mueck (/ˈmjuːɛk/ or /ˈmuːɪk/; born 1958, Melbourne) is an Australian sculptor working in the United Kingdom.


Born in 1958 to German parents in Melbourne, Australia, Ron Mueck grew up in the family business of puppetry and doll-making. He worked initially as a creative director in Australian children's television, before moving to America to work there in film and advertising. In 1996, he was asked by Paula Rego to make a small figure of Pinocchio for her group exhibition Spellbound: Art and Film, at the Hayward Gallery, London.

Mueck first came to public attention with his sculpture "Dead Dad". This portrayal of his recently deceased father - at roughly half-scale and made from memory and imagination – was included in the 1997 exhibition Sensation at the Royal Academy of Arts, London.

Mueck's first solo show was at the Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London in 1998. His 5-metre (16 ft) high sculpture Boy 1999 was a feature in the Millennium Dome, and later exhibited at the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001. Today it sits in the foyer of the Danish Contemporary Art Museum ARoS in Aarhus.

Between 2000 and 2002, Mueck was 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 and culminated in an exhibition in 2003.

Mueck's most recent major touring exhibition began at Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain (Paris), in 2013, and travelled to Fundacion Proa, Buenos Aires.,MAM, Rio de Janeiro (marking the biggest audience in the history of that museum), and São Paulo, exhibited at the Pinacoteca.

During 2016, Mueck exhibited at the Theseus Temple, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, and Sara Hildén Art Museum, Finland.

In 2017 Mueck had a major solo presentation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. As part of the Hull City Of Culture, Mueck's works appeared as part of SKIN, at the Ferens Art Gallery (Hull, UK), alongside paintings by Lucien Freud and Edouard Manet, and Spencer Tunick's photographs of his installation Sea Of Hull. The exhibition features a new work Poke, as well as Wild Man, Spooning Couple, Youth, Ghost, and Mask II.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Ron Mueck.