MARC SI JAN
NOW PEOPLE – M A R C S I JAN
Marc Sijan’s sculptures are so realistic, they often make fools out of people – former NBA player Michael Jordan once mistook one for a real security guard and berated the artwork for ignoring him. If you’ve seen these hyperrealist life-size works, you wouldn’t be surprised; Marc doesn’t miss a pore, wrinkle or freckle. The 71-year-old American is even able to capture the look of cloth sticking to the skin on a hot, sweaty day! We find out more about his works.
How much work goes into a sculpture?
A sculpture takes at least six months to produce – from the direct anatomic cast and sculpting of the polyester resin to the multiple layers of flesh-coloured oil paint. All I know [about the human form] comes from observation.
Why are humans so fascinated by these life-size sculptures?
The viewer can analyse every part of these sculptures closely and carefully, unlike in society, where one cannot observe each other in the same way – that would be uncomfortable! I’ve heard of viewers who will stare at these sculptures for a long time, just to see if they will blink.
What do your models think of their 3-D form?
My models are always honoured to be part of art history. As most people never see themselves in a 3-D format – and only in pictures or a mirror – it’s thrilling to see yourself as yourself.
What do you consider when conceptualising these sculptures?
I need to ask myself: “What is fresh and new?” and “What is the sculpture saying emotionally and spiritually?” I imbue these elements in the artwork’s eyes and body language; the latter is what captures the emotional energy of a human being. A single piece may take years to conceptualise.
Why do you think collectors enjoy your work?
The human form is the oldest subject matter known to mankind, so art collectors – including those who collect my work – have been collecting images of themselves since day one.
TOP Marc works out of a studio in Milwaukee, the US, but his works can be found all over the world – including Europe and the Middle East.
RIGHT When asked why he chooses to sculpt security guards and waiters, Marc says: “I work with the common man – people in society that often go unnoticed.”
ABOVE If you look up-close, you can even see the veins underneath this sculpture’s “skin”.
TOP Does this sculpture seem familiar to you? Big Man Security Guard was featured in Art Stage Singapore 2017.