Арсен Курбанов was born in Mahachkala, Dagestan. In 1988 he completed coursework at the Jamal Dagestan Art College, receiving a red diploma - a symbol of scholastic excellence. Kurbanov was immediately accepted into the Repin Institute in St. Petersburg, where he studied with the late Neprintsov, graduating in 1994.
Kurbanov strives to combine the techniques of the old masters - Pieter de Hooch and Vermeer are two of his favorites - with a contemporary, personal sense of imagery. Biblical and historical references appear alongside modern elements in his paintings, often producing an atmosphere of mystery. Portraiture commands a prominent position in his work. His portraits are intended to be compositions in their own right, in addition to presenting precise, almost photographic likenesses of the sitters. ince 2008, in addition to creating his own work, Arsen has been teaching in the easel painting department at the I.E. Repin Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia.