John Corcoran grew up during the fifties and sixties on the west bank of the Hudson River, about 20 miles north of New York City.
That area (Rockland County) was the artistic alternative to Westchester County, on the other side of the river. People in the arts wanting to live in the country and make their own homes gravitated to towns like Nyack or New City, or Palisades.
He felt lucky to have been exposed to so many creative people in his youth, and has always felt the artistic way of life is the most natural.
He started out wanting to be a writer. John went to Goddard College in Vermont during the early seventies and studied writing; also design and sculpture. As his senior study, he built a small house on a piece of land he’d bought for $1,200, and wrote an essay about the process.
After school Corcoran went on to build more houses and continued to write, but in the end, returned to a process begun at college: welded steel sculpture, to which he devoted himself full time.
The relationship and opposition posed between fine art and craft has been an ongoing engagement for him. Thus, a lot of his work crosses back and forth through the functional (furniture; design; accessories) to pure sculpture.
The use of graphics, books and the written word in much of his work is a result of his passion for literature.
In the 1990′s, Corcoran was awarded grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the US/Mexico Fund for Culture, Bancomer and the Rockefeller Foundation.
John helped to found the Cabras Project, an arts residency community in Guanajuato, Mexico, and the Tivoli Artisits’ Co-op in Tivoli, NY.
Recent projects include the Daniel Pearl Memorial for the Wall Street Journal at the World Financial Center in New York and installations at the Amtrack Station in Hudson, NY.
John recently spent the winter in Rome and currently lives and works in New Mexico while maintaining a studio in Tivoli, New York, on the banks of the Hudson River.
Photography: Juris Mardwig