John Sisko with Female Torso: I
Photo by Mel Curtis
by Wolfgang Mabry
John Sisko began his formal training in sculpture while still in secondary schools. Pottery classes, the only art offering available in junior high, afforded him essential early experience with three-dimensional art. Metal shop, though not geared toward fine art, provided the equipment and materials Sisko needed to produce his first three bronze castings in high school. Sisko learned firsthand the perils, pitfalls, and potentials of each of the 32 steps in bronze. He made clay models, master molds, wax models, and ceramic shells with sprue systems. Sisko did the pouring, chasing, polishing, applications of patina chemicals, and final sealing. He absorbed knowledge and learned from both successes and failures in every phase from concept to unveiling.
In his pursuit of a fine art degree, Sisko tried three different university art departments and was disappointed by the post-sixties, “get-loose, do-a-vibe” mindset that prevailed in each one at the time. Four years of art history seemed superficial, sometimes arbitrary, and consistently lacking in the depth of intellectual, spiritual, and philosophical analysis Sisko knew to be fundamental to the kind of work he wanted to do. He changed his major and earned his degree in philosophy, a move which has allowed the artist to infuse his sculptures with subtext and meaning that carry viewers as far as they wish to go beyond the literal.
Today, Sisko has produced more than 80 limited-edition bronzes, including 16 commissions. He has also enjoyed strong sales in more than 40 exhibitions at galleries in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Santa Fe, among others. John Sisko is an editor, currently serving as the chair of the Editorial Board of Sculpture Review Magazine and has been elected Fellow to the nation’s oldest professional sculpture organization, The National Sculpture Society, in New York City.
Movement, gesture, and intentional distortions of proportion characterize many of Sisko’s figurative works, giving them an upward thrust in physical and metaphysical senses. In addition to meeting the growing demand for his highly original and austerely beautiful bronzes, Sisko is writing a book about the cultural and philosophical constraints that sculptors must confront in the planning and execution of nude figures. Like his sculpture, the book will be a daring, original, and comprehensive examination of familiar territory in a new, exciting, and unfamiliar light.