Marc Sijan

“I am seeking to freeze motion rather than suggest life. The sculpture appears passive, but there is so much going on inside.”

Serbian-American artist Marc Sijan (B. 1946) is known for his hyperrealist sculptures, capturing his models in a moment in time. In 1968, he received his BA in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in went on to earn his Master of Science in Art degree in 1971, undertaking intense study of anatomy and biology in the process. (Read More)

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Sijan’s original inspiration was Michelangelo’s David and he was always fascinated by Michelangelo’s awareness of human anatomy and his ability to execute this awareness. However, unlike Michelangelo, Sijan does not celebrate the ideal form; his works are tributes to real people and in their realism, they are unpretentious and gritty and communicate a deep sense of emotion. In order to achieve the ultra-realistic finish, Sijan initially works from a live model and produces a plaster mold. He then sculpts the interior of the mold with tools and a magnifying glass and casts the figure in a polyester resin. To achieve realistic flesh tones, Sijan applies twenty-five coats of paint and varnish. His goal is to achieve depth, yet translucency and spends as long as six months reproducing these details on each piece.

He has participated in over 50 world-wide one-man museum exhibitions, with the majority of the museums setting attendance records with the showing of his sculptures.

Sijan’s super realistic sculptures are “homages to humanity’s fascination with its own forms — a fascination which has compelled artists throughout the millennia to mirror life in virtually every medium.” His figures are incredibly lifelike, sensuous and graceful. In fact, they are so lifelike, they seem always on the verge of movement, a mere instant away from action. The pores in the skin, the tiny hairs, and veins; even the bald spots, the blemishes, the individual shapes of the faces that make human beings so similar, yet so unique: These are the essence of what makes Sijan’s work so remarkable. 

Sijan’s work is similar to that of fellow artists Duane Hanson and John DeAndrea, who use lifelike human figures to express elements of the human condition and human relationships. But whereas his colleagues tend to express a kind of static existence, Sijan tries to capture a life force in full swing.


Important Exhibitions

2017    Photorealism-50 years of Hyperrealistic painting, Kunsthal Museum Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Florida, USA

From Lens to Eye to Hand Photorealism 1969 to Today, Parrish Museum of Art, Water Mill, New York, USA

2016    Photorealism-50 years of Hyperrealistic painting, Osthaus Museum Hagen, Hagen, Germany; Ixelles Museum, Brussels, Belgium; Kumu – Art Museum of Estonia; Tallinn, Estonia 

Feast for the Eyes, Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, New York, USA 

2015    Photorealism-50 years of Hyperrealistic painting, Museum de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain

Biennial Contemporary Realism, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA

Photorealism: The Sydney and Walfa Besthoff Collection, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

2013    Photorealism-50 years of Hyperrealistic painting, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain; Saarland Museum, Saarbrucken, Germany; Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, England

Photorealism Revisited, OKCMOA – Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma, USA

The Butler Institute of American Art, Howland Township, Ohio, USA

2012    Photorealism-50 years of Hyperrealistic painting, Tubingen Museum, Tübingen, Germany 

2011    Mana Art Center, Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation at Jersey City, New Jersey, USA

2009    Glass FX, Art of Glass 2, The Hermitage Museum, Norfolk, Virginia, USA

2007    Arte Contemporaneaperi Rifugiati, Musei Capitolini, Rome, Italy

2005    Cars and Ketchup: Photorealist Images of the American Landscape, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA

2005    Re-presenting Realism VII, Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, New York, USA

2004    Seeing is Believing: American Trompe L’oeil, New Britain Museum of American Art,New Britain, Connecticut, USA

1997    National Museum of Fine Art, La Valletta, Malta