Sergei Isupov
Artist Biography:
Sergei Isupov is an Estonian-American sculptor represented by Ferrin Contemporary, and is internationally known for his highly detailed, narrative works. Isupov explores figure-ground relationships, creating surreal sculptures with a complex artistic vocabulary that combines two-and three-dimensional painterly narratives and animal/human hybrids. He works in ceramic materials using traditional hand building and sculpting techniques to combine surface and form with traditional paintings using stains and clear glaze.
Isupov has a long international resume with work included in numerous collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Texas), Museum of Arts and Design (New York), Racine Art Museum (Wisconsin), Museum of Fine Arts Boston (Massachusetts). His solo museum exhibitions were presented offering selected works from throughout in "Hidden Messages" at the Erie Art Museum (Pennsylvania), at which he presented selected works in a 20-year career survey Hidden Messages in 2017. "Surreal Promenade" in 2019 at the Russian Museum of Art (Minnesota) and "Collection Focus: Sergei Isupv" in 2014 at Racine Art Museum (Wisconsin).
Often called an erotic Surrealist for his daring representations of sexuality, relationships, and human encounter. Isupov merges his subject matter and with ceramic sculptural form. Drawing on personal experience, and human observation, he creates works that integrates autobiography with fictional narratives. While the robust and racially distinct facial traits make each sculpture unique, they also make the body of work capable of conveying universal experiences. The bold colour palette, heavily tattooed faces, and textured surfaces relate these works to the aesthetics of traditional Russian art, as well as to contemporary styles of illustration.
Creative Statement:

My work is about contrasts and relationships. I explore contrasts of human condition with my story lines such as male-female and human-animal relationships, and accompanying emotions of warmth and aggression, love and rejection, and nurture and abandonment. Dynamic and interactive narratives are developed using two and three dimensions at the same time with the sculpted form and painted surface. I use a visual vocabulary and classic tools of design, proportion, perspective and silhouette to both sculpt and paint. Eyes show emotional relationships. Facial and figural gestures develop personalities. Illusionary objects and perspectives suggest motion. As a viewer moves around the work, they see each angle and focus point leading to new chapters and story lines. Combined, these clues tell an overall story.

While the form and material are static, the story comes to life in the round. "On the Way" shows a figure chased by a dog, and symbolizes the idea of trying to avoid the unexpected things that get in the way. "Coffee and Milk" is a melodrama between two people and how they get along with each other and the objects in their room and life. These two major sculptures are almost human-sized in scale and can be seen more as a 'conversation' by walking around them. "In Their Eyes" is smaller and more delicate with intimate details rendered in porcelain.