Colin McIntyre was born in Geneva, Illinois in 1978 and grew up in both the Midwest and Texas. He lives and works in Austin, Texas, focusing on hot-forged metal sculpture. His studies began in 1994 with an apprenticeship under metal sculptor Dr. Joe Smith in Caldwell, Texas. These early works were abstract representational pieces, fabricated in steel, cementing some of the directions in which his future work would travel.
Since establishing his full time professional studio practice in 2001, McIntyre has received two public art grants and achieved finalist and alternate status on several others. McIntyre’s most notable accomplishments of large-scale site specific sculpture include Arboreal Passage at the Austin Nature and Science Center and Emergence at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. He was awarded a grant from the Texas Biennial in 2009. His work has been featured in the Museum of Vordingborg, Denmark, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, and the People’s Gallery at Austin City Hall, among many others.
Much of his work has dealt with imagined species of plant and marine life. These works analyze taxonomy, the science of cataloguing species of life. McIntyre grew up steeped in the academic sciences, which greatly influenced the aesthetic perspective of his work.
Forging hot metal presents a beautiful moment of spontaneous artistic creation; the forms and objects that result are perfect records of the event. Every hammer blow, every physical manipulation is frozen into the metal, transforming it even further from its elemental stone origin. I imbue a semblance of life in the medium that contrasts with its cold rigidity. Many of my pieces depict plant-life and organisms that may seem both alien and familiar at the same time. My imagined life forms stand as a counterpoint to taxonomy, our attempt to categorize and quantify life on earth. Each one might be a new species of its own, bearing features that seem familiar from existing species combined in unusual contexts. My monumental sculptures carry a strong sense of place. They start out deeply informed by the site and gradually the site grows to be informed by the artwork. These works become key elements in the identity of the place for which they are designed, creating beauty and harmony.