American artist Marc Sijan’s compelling figures so closely resemble living men and women that viewers can be excused for checking to see if the sculptural pieces are actually breathing.

Visitors to the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair in California might not be able to resist touching the art or seeking a pulse when examining Sijan's hyper realistic sculptures. His sculptures are so true to life that they appear on the verge of movement, poised to continuing their intended action.

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


"Hand on Shoulder, AP, 2/20" by Marc Sijan, 2011. Oil painted resin and mixed media, 32 x 23 x 28 inches (actual). Courtesy Peter Marcelle Gallery.


Sijan works within the tradition of figurative sculpture but takes a modern approach. Expressions are bold but bodies are not idealized. Instead, they can be decidedly imperfect, sometimes blemished and fully believable.


"Man in the Box" by Marc Sijan, 2011. Polyester resin and oil paint, 36 x 36 x 72 inches. Courtesy Peter Marcelle Gallery.


Claiming Michelangelo’s Davidas his inspiration, the artist says that he undertook intensive studies of anatomy and biology based on his own fascination with Michelangelo’s “awareness of human anatomy and his ability to execute this awareness.”

To achieve the three-dimensional photorealism of his figures, Sijan spends up to six months on individual pieces. He initially works from a live model, produces a plaster mold and then sculpts the interior with precision tools and a magnifying glass. The figure is then cast in a polyester resin.

Realistic flesh tones are accomplished through the application of up to 25 coats of paint and varnish. The combination coaxes depth and translucency simultaneously.

Sijan describes his pieces as “homages to humanity’s fascination with its own form, a fascination which has compelled artists throughout the millennia to mirror life in virtually every medium.”


"Kneeling 3/20" by Marc Sijan. Polyester resin and oil paint, 26 x 34 x 32 inches. Courtesy Peter Marcelle Gallery.


Born in Serbia in 1946, Sijan’s work has been the subject of more than 50 international one-man museum shows and has broken attendance records at many of them, according to Peter Marcelle Gallery. One man shows have been held at Delaware Art Museum, the Pritkin Museum, The Butler Institute of American Art, Ulrich Museum of Art, Canton Art Institute and the Cuadro Museum in Dubai.

His sculptures have been collected and exhibited throughout North America, Europe and the Middle East. His work has been presented at the Armory Show in New York City for the last two years.

In addition to the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair, Sijan’s works are currently exhibited at Peter Marcelle Gallery in Bridgehampton, NY and the Gerald Peters Gallery in New York City.

BASIC FACTS: Hyper realistic sculpture by Marc Sijan is being presented by the Peter Marcelle Gallery at the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair from Feb 15 to 17, 2013 at Booth 302. The fair is being held at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs, CA 92262.



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