Organizations* : CAA
A native Californian, John Coleman has become a successful sculptor of Indian figure work. In October, 2001, he was elected to the prestigious Cowboy Artists of America, artists focused on realist depictions of western life. Through his art, Coleman seeks to communicate ideas on multiple levels, starting with the specific stories of people and their rituals and then, on a deeper level, using the stories as metaphors for more universal concepts.
Coleman began making money at age fifteen by doing illustration, and before turning to fine art as his career, worked as a contractor for twenty-seven years. In 1994 he began sculpting full-time, with his works ranging from nude classical figures to Indian mythology themes.
Since then, each year he has done over one hundred pieces, most of them with Indian motifs. Coleman generally tries to focus on one sculpture at a time, and envisions the completed piece before he starts work on the piece. Of his work, Coleman says that “Art, to me, literally puts a physical face on a spiritual idea.”
Coleman’s favorite type of art is the kind that tells a story that is deeper than what you see on the surface. Following in the tradition of Bernini and Canova, Coleman believes that understanding mythology and its basis for civilization is the anchor for spirituality. His love of history and mythology stands as the foundation on which he builds his art. Traditions steeped in folklore and mythic tales are the impetus for his sculpture.
Reference: AskArt.com, Southwest Art magazine