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Realistic Representation Ron Mueck. 2 Enduring Understanding Students will understand that realistic representation is selected with purpose and function.

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Presentation on theme: "Realistic Representation Ron Mueck. 2 Enduring Understanding Students will understand that realistic representation is selected with purpose and function."— Presentation transcript:

1 Realistic Representation Ron Mueck

2 2 Enduring Understanding Students will understand that realistic representation is selected with purpose and function to express ideas and concepts

3 3 Essential Questions Overarching Questions How does realistic representation contribute to the ideas and purpose of artists? What are true reflections of life? How is visual art a mechanism for social change? Topical Questions Is reproducing from life art? Can reflections of life be distorted? How?

4 4 5W1H When What Where UK How Sculptures Why 'I never made life-size figures because it never seemed to be interesting. We meet life-size people every day.' Ron Mueck Which Photorealism Also Hyper-Realism

5 5 Biographical Outline 1958: Born in Melbourne, Australia to German parents. Worked as a model maker and puppeteer for a television and film productions. 1980s: Moved to UK from Australia. 1996:Dad died in Australia while he is in London.

6 6 When (1958- ) Where (Australia & UK) When In the late 1930s, acrylic and fiberglass were invented. Where Charles Saatchi was the co-founder of the global advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. Charles is an avid art collector and owner of the Saatchi Gallery in London for contemporary art. He is also the sponsor for the YBAs (Young Bristish Artists) like Damien Hirst.

7 7 Which Hyperrealism/Photorealism A genre of painting and sculpture that look photographic. Hyperrealism as a movement, it is a splinter derivation from photorealism. Photorealism is a realistic painting approach that includes the reproduction of details. As a result, the painting looks almost photographic. Photographs are usually used as a reference. Some other artists- Chuck Close, Duane Hanson and Richard Estes.

8 8 What Subject Matter – Figures He explores the perception of space the body occupies by playing with the size and postures of his sculptures. The size of the figures are usually distorted for dramatic effects- eg: how an unusually gigantic pregnant woman with her colossal tummy at viewers eye level plays up the importance of life and birth. They are usually over-sized or under-sized, never life-size. This is because life-size figures do not interest him as we see them everyday around us. His figures are fashioned to the point of super-realism with meticulous details such as moles, veins, wrinkles, etc, all accurately rendered. They are flawlessly perfect- inviting close-up scrutiny with disbelief.

9 9 What Subject Matter- Figures Some critics deem his works like those of mannequins or wax figures but Mueck contends by employing dramatic distortions of size and awkward postures with the intention to highlight emotional states to his subjects. Such distortions can also endow his subjects with psychological intent- eg: Boy, His subjects are based on his friends and relatives.

10 10 Dead Dad, Silicone and acrylic, 20 x 38 x 102 cm The Saatchi Gallery His Under-Sized Figures This is the sculpture that propelled Mueck to fame.

11 11 What- Dead Dad A naked corpse of an old man lying flat on his back. It is a rendition of Mueck s own deceased father. It is made from the artist s memory, and half the size of a life-size figure. The size is intended for the viewer to cradle the corpse visually (Verdier, 2006). The impact- seemingly real and yet unreal. It adheres to the anatomical detail.

12 12 Mask, Mixed Media, 158 x 153 x 124 cm His Over-Sized Figures

13 13 Boy, Mixed media, 490 x 490 x 240 cm His Over-Sized Figures

14 14 Boy, Mixed media, 490 x 490 x 240 cm His Over-Sized Figures

15 15 How- Boy He begins work with a small clay study, and makes a plaster maquette from it. The maquette is then sliced into horizontal sections. The sections are used as templates and scaled up onto huge polystyrene blocks with hot wires. These giant slices are piled back to form the boy. The artist and his team refine it with knives and wire brushes.

16 16 How- Boy The polystyrene body is then given a coat of plastolene (a sticky synthetic wax). This plastolene needs to be melted and painted on and smoothed with long, flexible blades, before it can perform with the details and texture of the skin. Finally, he begins to create a mould with the figure in sections off the surface, building a patchwork around the figure.

17 17 How- Boy A layer of silicone is painted first to pick up the detail of the surface. This is supported with more layers of resin and fiberglass. He then mixes polyester resin in flesh tones and painted inside each sections. He ensures to include the variations which are visible on the skin- eg: mottled (spotted or patched) skin, pinker knees and elbows, paler nails. The sections were then released from the moulds and reassembled into the boy with seams sanded smooth.

18 18 How- Boy The sculpture is then touched up with other details like rosy highlights and faint bluish veins. The hair is constructed with thick strands of acrylic fiber, fixed to the head with woven strips. The eyebrows and eyelashes are individually sanded into a tapered end. Individual moulds are created for the eyes before casting them with polyester resin.

19 19 Ghost, 1998 Fibreglass, silicon, polyurethane foam, acrylic fibre and fabric, x 64.8 x 99.1 cm Tate Gallery, London. His Over-Sized Figures Her large scale and uneasiness highlights a sense of teenage anxiety.

20 20 Big Man, Pigmented polyester on resin, x x cm. Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden His Over-Sized Figures

21 21 Big Man, Pigmented polyester on resin, x x cm. His Over-Sized Figures

22 22 How- Big Man Big Man, Pigmented polyester on resin, x x cm.

23 23 Mask II, Mixed Media, His Over-Sized Figures

24 24 His Over-Sized Figures Pregnant Woman, Fibreglass, resin and silicone, National Gallery of Australia Check it out at

25 25 Pregnant Woman, Fibreglass, resin and silicone, National Gallery of Australia His Over-Sized Figures

26 26 What- Pregnant Woman It is a portrayal of motherhood- boasting strong reference with fertility, life and birth. Her size illustrates the immense significance of her pregnancy as well as her vulnerability and emotional intensity as seen in her face. The colossal tummy and expression on her face communicates to the viewers the immense weight (can also be interpreted as responsibility) the woman bears. As a viewer confronted with the tummy, the physicality and burden of child-bearing becomes even more pertinent. Her size can also be allegorical of omnificent (magnificent) Mother Earth.

27 27 Untitled (Head of a Baby), Mixed Media, His Over-Sized Figures

28 28 Mask III, Mixed Media, His Over-Sized Figures

29 29 In Bed, Mixed media, x x 395 cm His Over-Sized Figures

30 30 In Bed, Mixed media, x x 395 cm His Over-Sized Figures

31 31 A Girl, Oil-based ink on canvas, 259 x cm His Over-Sized Figures

32 32 A Girl, Mixed media, His Over-Sized Figures

33 33 Angel, Silicone rubber and mixed media, 110 x 87 x 81 cm His Under-Sized Figures

34 34 What- Angel The naked figure of a man with a pair of wings which are made with goose feathers. He is pensive and the pose appears a little melancholic. It s source of inspiration came from Tiepolo s Allegory with Venus and Time from the National Gallery. Mueck was inspired to create his own winged character.

35 35 Why- Angel (His Influence) Allegory with Venus and Time, c by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo Oil on canvas, 292 x 190 cm. Giovanni Battista Tiepolo ( ) Born in Venice Italy. He was both a painter and a printmaker. He was Europes outstanding master of the Grand Manner. His art- imaginative and changing the world of ancient history and myth, scriptures and legends into grand theatrical proportions. He also did frescos.

36 36 Untitled (Seated Woman), Mixed media, 64.1 x 43.2 x 41.9 cm His Under-Sized Figures

37 37 Spooning Couple, 2005 Mixed media, His Under-Sized Figures

38 38 Spooning Couple, 2005 Mixed media, His Under-Sized Figures

39 39 Two Women, Mixed media, 85.1 x 47.9 x 38.1 cm His Under-Sized Figures

40 40 Two Women, Mixed media, 85.1 x 47.9 x 38.1 cm His Under-Sized Figures

41 41 Mother and Child, Mixed Media, 24.1 x 88.9 x 38.1cm James Cohan Gallery His Under-Sized Figures

42 42 Untitled (Man In Blankets), Mixed Media, 43.2 x 59.7 x 71.1 cm His Under-Sized Figures

43 43 His Under-Sized Figures Man In Boat, Mixed Media, 75 cm high

44 44 His Under-Sized Figures Swaddled Baby, Mixed Media,

45 45 Why His Background Mueck s parents were toy makers. He spent 20 years in Australian and British television and advertising. He was first making models and puppets for a children s television and film production. One example of the film he was involved with was Labyrinth featuring Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie and Jim Henson s series The Story Tellers. He later established his own company in London making hyper-realistic props for advertising.

46 46 Why During this time, his sculptures were only highly realistic from the angle of filming, which gave him the urge to create sculptures that can be filmed from all angles. That was when he made the transition to fine arts and began collaborating with his mother-in-law who was also an artist. Mueck demands high standard of craftsmanship for his own works to the point of perfection.

47 47 How Meuck does not cast directly from his subjects and he does not rely on assistants unless necessary. He usually uses photographs and anatomical textbooks as references. He starts with small clay maquettes to decide on the position of the figure. He then creates drawings in different sizes to decide on the scale of the actual work. Next, he sculpts the figure in clay over a metal armature for huge works, which includes details like facial expression and skin texture. The armature functions like the skeleton of the body. It is a structure that supports an outer covering of material, eg: clay.

48 48 How He applies a coat of shellac (like varnish) to the clay to keep it from drying. He then makes a plaster mould around it because clay is a transient material. It deteriorates and disintegrates when dry. Therefore plaster is used because it is more permanent. Using the mould, the sculpture is then cast with a mixture of fibre-glass, silicone and resin. He finishes the figure with meticulous details such as veins and skin tones by painting them in. Although his sculptures are proportionately accurate, they are either under-sized or over-sized. Mueck s approach can be deemed as a traditional way.

49 49 How Materials Fibreglass It is a component of thin glass fibre mixed with resin. It is used because it is extremely light but tough and hard- wearing. Polyester Resin It is a synthetic liquid chemical product which sets hard with the addition of a catalyst (something that makes it hard). Careful and exact measurement is essential when using this medium. Fiberglass is usually added to this material for extra strength. Silicone It is a rubber-like material that is firstly liquid in state but turns rubbery and sticky when set. Thus, it picks up textures extremely well.

50 50 References Mueck, R. (2001). Boy. Anthony dOffay Gallery: London. Plowman, J. (1995). The Encyclopedia of Sculpting Techniques. Headline Book Publishing: Great Britain. hyper-realist-sculptor/ _aug03/mueck/mueck.shtml

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