MUSCATINE, Iowa (KWQC) – Mark Sijan is a Milwaukee artist specializing in ultra-realistic sculptures. Nine of his sculptures are currently on display Muscatine Center for the Arts until April 9.
The show features real people who have modeled for Sijan, drawing people from all over to cheer them on in Muscatine. According to Melanie Alexander, director of the Muscatine Center for the Arts, the audience response to these works is what makes it so interesting.
“There’s a range of reactions to these pieces,” Alexander said. “But people really appreciate the attention to detail and many are absolutely amazed. [They wonder] How did someone create these three dimensional people that are so realistic?
The show features a video in which Sijan talks about his process and how he chooses his models.
“I try to find that person: a neighbor, a friend, a relative, I sometimes stop people on the street and ask them if they want to be a part of my work,” Sijan said. “I want to be more involved with the common man, often the people that others don’t even notice, the common man, the man on the street that you pass by.”
For Sijan, bringing these works of art to life requires a long process and a lot of materials.
“Polyester resin, or resin, is the main material, and I finish it with artist’s oil paints, and there are fifteen layers of paint that are layered on top of each other to give the skin a transparency,” Sijan said. “So you have resin, artist’s oil paints and mixed media for clothing or props or hair, prosthetic eyes that are used in sculptures.”
The exhibit opened on February 9th at the Muscatine Center for the Arts and will be there until April 9th.
Museum hours are listed below:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 10:00 – 17:00
Thursday: from 10 to 19
Saturday, Sunday: 13:00 – 17:00
Admission to the museum is free.
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