Ron Mueck

Woman with Shopping

Total fever

There is a belief that a woman who has just become a mother should be absolutely ecstatic: but that's all it is, a belief. A fairy-tale image of things. Her glands release hormones that are supposed to make her feel happy. But when you look at this woman's face, you see something completely different. And the baby is desperate for its mother's attention. But does the mother look like she's going to give it?

Life story

Can you imagine this woman's life story? And what her name would be? Do you think she looks like a Miranda, a Sophie or perhaps an Annemiek? Does she have a husband, or has he left? Are they divorced? Is he still alive? Perhaps she's very religious and goes to church all the time. You can come up with a life story for her. Talk about it with someone else. Do you both think the same things about her?

Under the skin

Can you see what's happening underneath the skin? The mother's skin, but also the baby's. That little vein at the baby’s temple, for example.

Take a look in the shopping bags

Do you see that bottle of wine in one of the bags? Alcohol numbs you, especially if you drink a few glasses. Sometimes, it's easier to fall asleep when you've had a glass of wine. Perhaps the woman needs it. What other shopping items can you see in the bag?

Made by human hands

Ron made this sculpture of the mother and her child with his hands. Perhaps that’s hard to believe when you see how real they both look. Ron must have worked in his studio for days, weeks or months to transform this work of art into what it is today. Two people who actually look like they're real flesh and blood. You could almost imagine that you're passing them on the street. 


See the stubble above her ankles? She usually shaves her legs but hasn't done it for the last few days.


How would you pronounce Ron's surname? Myoek? Myuuwk? Myuwek? Muuk?

What's the baby saying?

What is the baby saying? Can I have some attention? Or is it saying, are you okay Mummy? Perhaps it is asking, can I have something to eat? What do you think the child needs? And is it a boy or a girl?

Puppet show

Ron is the son of two toymakers and was often surrounded by toys as a child, including dolls. As a youngster, he was enchanted by the dolls that his parents made. They became more to him than mere toys. The seeds of sculpting were planted early on. 

A person or a statue?

The style of the sculptures Ron creates is called hyperrealism. That means the sculptures look super-realistic, as if you're looking at people that you might come across in the supermarket or on the train. The only thing is that Ron makes his statues bigger or smaller than real people. He likes statues that are very big or very small. You can see normal people all day long!

She can't go on

This woman is a new mother. But she's not celebrating her baby's safe arrival. She's just got back from the supermarket. What feelings does she bring up in you? Let's say that she was your neighbour, would you want to have a cup of tea with her?

Who are the other two?

Another of Ron's statues is on display in Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar. It is of two older people under a parasol. They are very big. Perhaps they are relatives of this woman with her baby. Possibly her parents or her aunt and uncle? Or her grandma and grandpa? After all, Wassenaar is only 22 kilometres from Lisse.

Almost a ghost

You must have heard of Madame Tussauds. It has waxworks of famous people. Madame Tussauds wants to make supermodels and pop stars look as beautiful as possible, as if such people are perfect. Ron aims for something different with his work. He wants to make people look as real as possible, not perfect. 

Kijk eens anders

Choose an artwork at random. In which film could this work of art play a role?

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