Don Porcaro (1976)

Nomad #26, concrete, metal, paint, 70" X 28" X 20", 2005
Nomad #12, stone, rubber, metal, 18" X 22" X 7", 2002
Nomad #25, stone and painted copper, 78" X 40" X 32", 2005
Avatar #6, stone, metal, paint, 11-½" X 17" X 4", 2005

I can say that almost everything that defines my professional life today is a result of my having studied at Columbia. Some of my most vivid memories include studio visits from Noguchi, and Ronald Bladen, who eventually became a very close friend and later came to teach with me at Parsons School of Design. When I was in my second year as a graduate student at Columbia, Parsons hired me to be a sculpture technician. At the time, the Fine Arts Department was not yet even formed. Today I am Chair of the Department. I am still in contact with some of my colleagues from back then who have built successful professional careers as artists, including Helene Brandt.

My work has always been inspired by man's imprint on nature, where the realm of constructed objects intersects with the order of the natural world. Most recently my investigations have turned to the more whimsical possibilities embodied in ideas of history and culture, the way objects with specific uses change over time, adjusting to the needs and fashions of the moment. These pieces seem arrested in time, their enigma coming largely as a result of their impossibility as wholly functional objects. They could be tools, toys, household or farm implements, ancient reliquaries or contemporary machines. All of them however, are animated with impending motion, either laden with the memory of recent activity or pregnant with possibilities of the yet unknown. They are forms that feel and look familiar, but elude function and definition.