Message with a series of photographs depicting amazingly lifelike sculptures claims that the sculptures were created by a London-based photo-realist artist named Ron Mueck (Full commentary below).
Subject: FW: THESE ARE ACTUAL SCULPTURES… UNREAL
Ron Mueck is a London-based photo-realist artist. Born in Melbourne , Australia , to parents who were toy makers, he labored on children’s television shows for 15 years before working in special effects for such films as Labyrinth, a 1986 fantasy epic starring David Bowie.
Eventually Mueck concluded that photography pretty much destroys the physical presence of the original object, and so he turned to fine art and sculpture. In the early 1990’s, still in his advertising days, Mueck was commissioned to make something highly realistic, and was wondering what material would do the trick. Latex was the usual, but he wanted something harder, more precise. Luckily, he saw a little architectural decor on the wall of a boutique and inquired as to the nice, pink stuff’s nature. Fiberglass resin was the answer, and Mueck has made it his bronze and marble ever since.
These images circulate via email and have also been posted on a number of websites, blogs and online forums. A description included with the images claims that they depict a series of fiberglass resin sculptures created by London based artist, Ron Mueck. The sculptures shown in the photographs are real and they were indeed created by Ron Mueck. An article about Mueck on telegraph.co.uk notes:
The Australian-born, London-based Mueck makes models of human beings. Some are enormous – twice, three times, 10 times lifesize. He wowed the Venice Biennale in 2001 with Boy, a crouching figure so massive its back nearly brushed the ceiling of the Arsenale. Some are tiny: half lifesize, or even smaller. He made his name with a half-lifesize sculpture of his father called Dead Dad, part of the Saatchi show Sensation! at the Royal Academy in 1998.
All are never less than alarmingly real. Mueck, with skills honed from years spent model-making for TV special-effects laboratories, uses fibreglass and silicone to achieve remarkable verisimilitude.
Another in depth telegraph.co.uk article about Mueck explains the techniques the artist uses to create his works:
Advances in technology have enhanced his technique, but much of his actual process has been used by sculptors down the ages. He makes plaster maquettes to test ideas, does drawings of various sizes and takes decisions on the scale of the piece. He then sculpts the figure in clay with all the lifelike touches that will appear in the final sculpture. A mould is made of the clay figure and he casts it out in fibreglass resin and silicone.
The description in the email message that contains these photographs is apparently an abridged version of an artist’s profile that was published on the ArtMolds Sculpture Studio website. Some versions of the message incorrectly identify the artist as “Don Mueck” rather that Ron Mueck.
More images of Ron Mueck’s work can be viewed in a gallery published on washingtonpost.com.
Last updated: 4th December 2007
First published: 4th December 2007
By Brett M. Christensen