Ron Mueck (born 1958) is an Australian hyperrealist sculptor working in Great Britain.
Mueck's early career was as a model maker and children's television and films, puppeteer for notably the film Labyrinth for which he also contributed the voice of Ludo.
Mueck 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. His five metre high sculpture Boy 1999 was a feature in the Millennium Dome and later exhibited in the Venice Biennale.
In 2002 his sculpture Pregnant Woman was purchased by the National Gallery of Australia for AU$800,000.
A major exhibition of his work was shown in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Festival at the Royal Scottish Academy Building until October 1, 2006. A solo exhibition of nine works by Ron Mueck was presented at the Brooklyn Museum from November 3, 2006 through February 4, 2007.
An exhibit of his work was also on view at the National Gallery of Canada, in Ottawa from 2 March to 6 May 2007 organized by the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain (Paris), in collaboration with the National Gallery of Canada, the Brooklyn Museum and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas is showing an exhibition of thirteen of Mueck's pieces from June 24, 2007 through October 21, 2007. The works in the show include Untitled (Seated Woman) (1999), Dead Dad (1996-97), In Bed (2005), Untitled (Big Man) (2000), Two Women (2005), Crouching Boy in Mirror (1999-2000), Spooning Couple (2005), Mask II (2001-02), Mask III (2005), Wild Man (2005), and A Girl (2006).