Mueck's intensely realistic sculptures of friends and relatives isolated from their normal context, and often larger or smaller than life-size, evoke a range of human conditions, such as vulnerability, and emotional responses, such as pity. Of his decision to manipulate scale-some subjects are miniaturized, while others are magnified into monumental portraits the artist has commented, "I change the scale intuitively, really-avoiding life-size because it's ordinary. There's no math involved; I usually do a sketch on paper and if it looks good to me, then I use that scale for the actual piece. The shift in scale draws you in and in some ways engages you at a different level."
Ron Mueck draws upon memories, reveries, and everyday experience as he portrays his subjects with extraordinary compassion. What makes his sculptures exceptional is the manner in which he balances realism with the unreal.