About the Artist:
Although John possesses a B.A. in English Literature from Union College, his true passion was sculpture, specifically welded and forged steel. Having found it to be the most effective and satisfying way to express himself, John quickly developed a love for metalwork as a means to his artistic ends. He received the college's Colish Sculpture Award and after graduation took on an internship at the sculpture park Salem Art Works (SAW). John spent five months living, working, and creating art on the grounds themselves. At SAW, he lived within a community of artists, which facilitated learning and personal growth through the exchange of ideas and techniques. He found himself experiencing art as a lifestyle. Committing to waking up everyday and practicing his craft, instilled a drive in John, and confidence to continue making art... and so he did.
He briefly lived in Austin, Texas where he co-founded the South Austin Artist Co-op, which was created not only as a shared studio space but also to share and experience ideas along with critique. After moving back to NJ, John had been taking graduate level art history and sculpture classes at Montclair State University where he also assisted the sculpture department in technically advising undergraduate art students. He was hired in December 2011 by the Art Students League of NY Welding Department as a part-time technical instructor to add his own set of skills to their already highly skilled welding department.
In 2012 John was nominated to apply for the Model to Monument (M2M) Program, a public art program sponsored by the NYC Parks Department and the Art Students League of NY. He was awarded with the Grant to Design and Build a site specific sculpture along the Hudson River in Riverside Park. John spent nine months planning and single-handedly building the monumental sculpture.
Upon completion of the M2M project, John was hired and currently works as the Sculpture Technician at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture.
His art pieces are reactions and tributes. Each sculpture exhibits varied mindsets, moods, interests, fears and loves. John always admired blacksmiths. They exist in our culture as symbols of masculinity and one can recognize this quality to his work. But there is a balance of delicate softness and approachability while still being strong works. The other constant to John's work is levity, often using humor to deal with life's twists and turns and consequentially the use of it in his art.
"Ultimately, I am interested in contradictions and hypocrisies. They consume my life and the world around me. My aim is to create order out of disorder; disorder out of order. I do not seek perfection, only satisfaction. I want to see organic matter, hard as steel. I want to see steel delicate as a leaf. I want to counteract gravity, distort balance. I want to see mistakes. I want to see imperfections. These are human traits. We are not machines... we make mistakes. I believe the human hand is the most important aspect of art. Perfection masks art's humanity."
~ John N. Erianne