The Tale from the Dollmaker to the acclaimed Sculptor
In front of every gallery and every museum where Ron Mueck exhibits, a visitors' queue results. The National Gallery in Canberra purchased his sculpture „Pregnant Woman“ for U$ 461,300. What is the fascination concerning the oversized plastics and sculptures of the former puppet maker? We introduce the sculptor Ron Mueck.
Ron Mueck was born in 1958 as the son of German immigrants in Melbourne, Australia. His father was a toymaker. In 1983, Ron left Australia and moved to London, where Jim Henson hired him in his team of puppeteers for the series Sesame Street and the Muppet Show. At that time, he was not an artist, but he was considered as a gifted artisan. After other successful orders, among others for the movie Labyrinth with David Bowie, Mueck opened an agency in London and started to create sculptures for advertising photographs. Nevertheless, it still bothered him that he was only focussed on telling the stories of others with his characters. His mother, the Portuguese artist Paula Rego, asked Mueck to model for the picture "Gepetto" in 1996. Consequently, the Dollmaker Mueck created to a little boy made of silicone and fiberglass, to model for the artist with this figurine. After further figurines, which were prepared for an exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, Mueck met the major art collector Charles Saatchi who was very interested in the work and placed new orders. The resulting figure "Dead Dad", which was shown in the exhibition "Sensation - Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection" at the Royal Academy in London from 1997 to 1998, was the international breakthrough for Ron Mueck as an artist - from a dollmaker to acclaimed sculptor.
Artistically one can assign Mueck´s works to hyperrealism. This art movement chooses the exaggeration of reality as means. The topics of the sculptor Mueck are birth, life and death. In the presentation, he especially pays attention to perfection: Each skin pigment, each wrinkle and each little hair seems to be alive. The most characteristic feature of the sculptures is the attempt to change the perception of otherwise perfectly reproduced figurines by resizing. A good example is the 500 kg oversized plastic "Plastic Boy" that appears vulnerable and assailable despite its size. When looking at his works, the viewer is always comes up with the question: What if he´d move?
This year, Ron Mueck`s works are shown in the exhibition "The Imaginary Museum - Works from the Centre Pompidou, the Tate and the MMK" in the Museum of Modern Art (Frankfurt, Germany) from 24th March to 4th September 2016. Afterwards a personal exhibition will take place at the Sara Hilden Art Museum (Tampere, Finland) from June 2nd to October 16th, 2016. A visit to this fascinating exhibition will be worth it!