Ron Mueck

(b. 1958)

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(1958– )

Australian sculptor, born in Melbourne, who settled in London in 1986. After working as a puppet-maker and puppeteer Mueck embarked on a career as an independent sculptor. In 1995 he made a figure of Pinocchio for Paula Rego (his mother-in-law), who was working on a series of paintings inspired by Walt Disney. This led to contact with Charles Saatchi. What remains Mueck's best-known sculpture, Dead Dad (1996–7), was shown in the *‘Sensation’ exhibition. This is a three-foot long figure of a corpse (based on Mueck's own father) lying on the floor. Mueck's sculpture generally depends for its impact on a disparity between unnatural scale and highly realistic modelling and colouring. Sometimes, as in his outsize self-portrait head, the effect is obvious. Elsewhere Mueck can be more subtle, as in Ghost (1998, Tate), in which a shy modest girl in a bathing suit turns away from the spectator's gaze, although she towers over most viewers at seven feet high.

Subjects: Art.

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