Milwaukee-based artist Marc Sijan's Superrealistic 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." Sijan's 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 Marc Sijan's work so arresting.
Sijan first works from live models, to produce a negative mold in plaster, and sculpts the interior with special tools and a magnifying glass to assure accurate detail. Then, he casts the figure in a polyester resin. To achieve realistic flesh tones, Sijan applies 25 coats of paint --- and adds varnish. Sijan uses oil paint in the final stages of the work.
"The goal is to achieve depth, yet translucency," he says. "It can't be flat. The chest and throat texture is different from that of the arms, legs and stomach. Facial skin differs from that on the torso." To achieve the remarkably realistic product on view here today, Sijan looks for "variations." Those are the millions of individual features we all possess -- goosebumps, skin imperfections, skin color, sunburn, birthmarks, age spots -- and Sijan spends as long as six months reproducing this detail on one piece.