Arsen Kurbanov was born in Makhachkala, republic of Dagestan, in the USSR. His mother and father were artists as is his brother. In 1988, Kurbanov completed his education at the Jamal Dagestan Art College, receiving a red diploma of scholastic excellence. He was immediately accepted into one of the most prestigious art academies in the world – the Repin Institute of the St. Petersburg Academy of Art. After graduating in 1994, Kurbanov exhibited his final artwork to the graduation committee and was accepted into the “Union of Russian Artists.”
Kurbanov combines the techniques of the Old Masters with a contemporary, personal sense of imagery. Biblical and historical references appear alongside modern elements in his paintings, introducing a feeling of mystery. While Kurbanov’s portraits represent precise, almost photographic likenesses of his sitters, they are also created as compositions in their own right.