Ultra-Realistic Sculpture by Marc Sijan
Delaware Art Museum
November 13, 2010 – January 16, 2011
The Delaware Art Museum presents Ultra-Realistic Sculpture by Marc Sijan, featuring 17 startlingly lifelike sculptures, on view from November 13, 2010 through January 16, 2011. Based on individuals Sijan knows well, his faces and figures capture movement and human emotion, as well as the minute details of individual appearance. Although the artist draws inspiration from the idealized anatomy of classical sculptures, such as Michelangelo’s David, his contemporary interpretation of the human form illustrates the gritty imperfections of average people.
“I want to give it life so it doesn’t come off rigid,” Sijan has said. “I’m trying to create energy and motion without showing a great deal of action—a natural, very fluid look. I’m making my art believable; it goes beyond the physical to the inner spirit and soul of the person.”
Sijan breathes life into his sculptures through a laborious six-month process. After creating a plaster mold, he casts the sculpture in polyester resin. Sijan achieves a realistic flesh-like surface by coating the sculpture in up to 25 layers of paint and meticulously adding unique “variations” with oil paint, such as freckles, veins, and birthmarks. To satisfy the curiosity of visitors who want to feel his lifelike creations, Sijan has included a touchable polyester resin hand in the show.
The exhibition includes five life-size figures, three torsos, and ten portraits. The free-standing figures will be installed throughout the galleries to playfully engage visitors with the Museum’s permanent collection.
“Museum visitors are often intrigued by artists’ ability to capture reality, and realism is a thread that weaves through the Museum’s collections,” said Executive Director Danielle Rice. “For this reason, we felt that Mark Sijan’s work would be a good fit for us and this is why we have placed his sculptures throughout the Museum.”
Sijan, who is based in Milwaukee, WI, has been sculpting the human figure and artistically exploring anatomy for over 30 years. His work has been featured in more than 51 solo exhibitions in the United States and around the world.