llnicki was bom in Los Angeles in 1946. His father was a police officer. John's
education was nurtured at private schools through high school. He attended the
University of San Francisco for two years, but in 1966 his father was killed in
a helicopter accident while working on the newly developed LAPD traffic-watch
patrol and he returned to Los Angeles. There, he completed his studies at Cal
State University at Long Beach and graduated with a degree in English Literature
and a minor in medieval history.
thoroughly enjoyed the liberal arts and had taken some classes in art history.
In 1970 he moved to Santa Cruz, California with his wife and young daughter, Kelly.
There he worked for a major clothing chain and began writing for the local newspaper
and an independent magazine directed primarily toward the tourist trade.
was around this time that he began to apprenticeto a local metal sculptor. A new
life had begun. He easily picked up the use of the acetylene torch and the electric
taking a few classes at UCSC, John quit his job and started his own studio. His
mentor sold him some equipment and John llnicki was on his own. The year was 1973
and he never looked back.
the course of almost three decades John has been extremely fortunate that his
innate talent has rewarded him with many opportunities to continue his "life as
an artist". His portfolio now fills many binders and includes hundreds of fine-art
pieces in steel.
has been commissioned to create life size animals, mobiles, abstracts, wall pieces
of all sizes, and fantasies.
are always well-pleased, which, in the end, is the only gauge an artist can use
(and the only way he can afford to keep being an artist). John has lived in Hawaii
since 1987 with his second wife, Brenda, a high school special-ed teacher. In
the past few years he has expanded into other related fields of metal including
creating representations of ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs, petroglyph chess sets,
and framed wall pieces. His latest works include a wide variety of pieces he calls
"The Real (and-not-so real) Petroglyphs of Hawaii", a series of whimsical pieces
based on the style used by the anciecient Hawaiians. Foundry work and casting
have opened up many new avenues in an artform both intriguing in nature and limitless
llnicki has indeed been very fortunate. He has been able to spend this last quarter
century in the arts and looks forward to the new challenges that will come with
the next twenty-five years and more.