Mueck is known for his uncanny silicone and fiberglass human figures that defy conventional proportions. Having got his start in the film world, Mueck was brought to the fore in the art world by collector Charles Saatchi. At “Sensation,” a popular 1997 show at London’s Royal Academy which spotlighted young British artists, he presented his landmark sculpture Dead Dad, an affecting, three-foot-tall rendering of his father’s nude corpse.
Mueck has continued to make shocking sculptures in that vein throughout his career. In his first solo show in New York in 2001, at James Cohan Gallery, he presented only two works: an enormous recreation of his head, shown on its side as though it were asleep, and a sculpture of a mother and child held together by an umbilical cord. His auction record was set in 2011 when his 1996 Big Baby sold at Christie’s London for $1.32 million.