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Just when you think they couldn't get better, meet life-like sculpturist Ron Mueck.

Ronald "Ron" Mueck is an Australian hyperrealist sculptor working in the United Kingdom.

Ron was born in Australia to German parents. He began his career working on the Australian children's television program Shirl's Neighbourhood. He was the creative director and made, voiced and operated the puppets Greenfinger the Garden Gnome, Ol' Possum, Stanley the snake and Claude the Crow amongst many others. The show was made for Channel 7 Melbourne between 1979 and 1984, broadcast nationally and starred the ex-lead singer of Skyhooks, Graeme "Shirley" Strachan.

Mueck's early career was as a model maker and puppeteer for children's television and films, notably the film Labyrinth for which he also contributed the voice of Ludo, and the Jim Henson series The Storyteller.
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 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.

Photo: Raoul Wegat/Getty Images

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. Today it sits as the centerpiece in the foyer off the Danish Contemporary Art Museum ARoS in Aarhus.

In 1999 Mueck was appointed as Associate Artist at the National Gallery, London. During this two-year post he created the works Mother and Child, Pregnant Woman, Man in a Boat, and Swadled Baby.
In 2002 his sculpture Pregnant Woman was purchased by the National Gallery of Australia for A$800,000.

Untitled (Big Man) (2000) - a nearly seven-foot sculpture of a naked, completely hairless, belligerent-looking man sitting with his knees drawn up and his elbows resting on his knees, his head in his hand. The work is designed to sit in a corner. Owned by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., it has become one of the museum's most popular works since its acquisition.

Artgoers look at sculpture , “Big Man” by Ron Mueck as part of the exhibition “Melancholy-Genius and Insanity in the Western World” at the Grand Palais in Paris, Friday Oct. 28, 2005. The exhibition runs until January 16, 2006. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

 Photograph by Gautier Deblonde taken in Ron Mueck's London studio for his exhibition at the Fondation Cartier in Paris.

Mask II (2001-2), mixed media. Huge head (the face appears to be Mueck's own), lying on its side as if asleep - private collection.

Photographed at the British Museum August 2010 by wikipedia user Jack1956

Woman With Shopping Bags, 2013

Photo: Francois Mori/AP

Youth, 2009, mixed media. Diminutive figure (65 cm high) of black youth, holding up his T-shirt to examine a wound in his b̶e̶l̶l̶y̶... side.

Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Woman with Sticks (2008), mixed media. 180 cm-high model of naked woman, bent backwards, carrying huge bundle of sticks. (Private collection).

Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

A Girl (2006), mixed media. Newborn baby, with part of umbilical cord and some blood. (National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa).

Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Spooning Couple (2005), mixed media. 1/2 scale of partially clothed middle-aged man and woman lying in 'spooning' position as if in bed - artist's collection.

Mother and Child (2002), fibreglass, resin, silicone - 1/2 scale naked woman who has just given birth, the baby laid on her stomach with umbilical cord still attached and trailing to the woman's womb. (Bayerische Staatsgemaeldesammlungen, Munich).

Photo: Johannes Simon/Getty Images

In Bed (2005). Huge (3 x scale?) woman lying in bed, hand raised to her face in a contemplative pose.

Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

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