Emotional Aura

about Ron Mueck

As enigmatic as his realistic and sometimes disturbing creatures, Ron Mueck commands an uncanny ability to amaze with his obsessive level of surface detail and intense psychic discharge. Born in 1958 to German parents in Melbourne, Australia, he 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. Since then, he has been making silicon or fiberglass and acrylic sculptures cast from clay models.

Ron 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.

Far from a servile copyist of nature, Ron reveals the need of making selective adjustments to maximize the physical and emotional aura of his figures. In the end, his success hinges on faith and control. Through mastery of his materials in a seamless, seemingly effortless way, he awakens our willingness to believe in images that our imagination keeps alive.

“It makes you take notice in a way that you wouldn’t do with something that’s just normal. I never made life-size figures because it never seemed to be interesting. We meet life-size people every day. On one hand, I try to create a believable presence, and, on the other hand, they have to work as objects. They aren’t living persons, although it’s nice to stand in front of them and be unsure whether they are or not.



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