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Sculpted ode to the 'dead' is artist's censure of health reform

By Sandy Sand     Dec 9, 2009 in Entertainment
A toe-tagged body draped in a white sheet lying on a hospital gurney is an apolitical artist’s sculpted ode to the human condition and a statement on the current health insurance reform debate raging in the U.S. Congress.
The artwork by Marc Sijan, 62, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is set to debut at the Art Basel fair in Miami, Florida, this week.
Titled “Pre-existing Conditions,“ the life-size sculpture is a composite cast of the artist’s friend, a 5-foot, 10-inch man who weighs around 300 pounds, and is made of polyester resin and is a combination of sculpting, modeling and casting, Sijan said.
Sijan, who specializes in figurative and realistic art, and said he likes "to report visually on the human condition of normal people."
Describing himself as a political moderate on the health care debate, Sinjan said:
"I'm independent on the whole thing. I'm not a Republican or a Democrat. By the time it's all done, I just hope I have some coverage."
In spite of the mild disclaimer, in a more heated press release, Sijan said his sculpture is an indictment of the health insurance industry that:
"…regularly rejects health care claims, especially pre-existing health conditions."
Considering options to add to his sculpted indictment, the artist said he thought about placing an unpaid invoice in the figure’s dead hand. A “policy cancelled” notice would have been an even stronger statement. Either way, he rejected the idea.
Currently, he said he buys is own health insurance from Blue Shield.
The asking price for the work of art is $80,000.
Commenting on who would want a “gruesome” piece of art, Sijan said:
"There are collectors in the world who are looking for something cutting edge, something that emotionally has a spike to it."
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