Rich Corozine ( - )
WORKS IN THE EXHIBITION (PART 1)
BIO & ARTIST'S STATEMENT
To be posted...
by Skyler Gomez
Richard Corozine, a SUNY New Paltz alumni and New Paltz native, is a prolific painter who gets inspiration from his adventure-filled life. He’s traveled to almost every continent and has amazing stories to tell from each place he has visited. Corozine has created plays that have been produced outside of the United States and has affected people from around the world. Just recently, he decided to start a new journey in which he creates paintings that depict his emotions. Corozine says that once he decides to debut these emotion-based paintings, viewers are in for a surprise.
What was your childhood like?
My father was a jazz musician. My mother worked as a shop woman. They were working class Italians. My father was a great instrument player and so were my two older brothers. They’re both way older than me, about nine to ten years. I was the baby. I remember how dedicated they were and hearing them practice playing their instruments for hours every day. Their dedication inspired me to become dedicated to what I loved, which was art.
How old were you when you first started to paint?
I could always draw and paint really well. In Denmark I had a really strange epiphany. I was standing at the side of the road and I could go up to Norway or I could cross the road to talk to this beautiful blonde girl who was going south. I asked myself, ‘What do you want to do?’ It wasn’t like a flash or anything. I just thought, ‘You know, I just really want to paint. I want to be a painter.’ I did not end up following the blonde girl. Instead, I started to sketch beautiful structures that I saw so I could begin painting them when I got back.
What inspired you to create paintings that focus on you and your experiences?
I had pneumonia and I was really sick and I just decided I’m not going out this way. If I’m going to go, I’m going with a paintbrush in my hand. I wanted to do memoir paintings. So I painted people I knew and situations I’ve been in. For a couple years that’s what I did but that’s over now. My paintings are even more personal now and very deeply psychological.
When did you start writing plays?
That’s probably the thing I’m most happy about. I started when I was young. My plays are about the people in my paintings so it’s cool because you experience them actually walking and talking with you. I have about fifteen different plays and they’re all different lengths.
Where have your plays been produced?
I did a series of eight plays called “Tails of the Americas.” One was produced in Poland. It’s called “Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies” and opens with a black man hanging lynched mid-stage. The play was a series of stereotypes where people come in and either ridicule him and treat him like he’s not there. I showed this in New York and people were really afraid of doing this. I mean, I think people would try to burn the theatre down. It’s so provocative.
Where have you traveled?
All through Europe. A long time ago when things were really tense in the 60s and 70s I went to Nigeria and Morocco. I went to Central America to visit my son who was hitchhiking in Guatemala. He has his own farm in North Carolina now so I have to go visit him.
Where was your favorite place to go?
I loved Ireland when I was there. Morocco was insane! It was a whole other culture. There were people on a bus that were heading up to Egypt. They asked me if I wanted to go but I thought that was too crazy. There were many great trips. You have to remember, I went around the time that not many Americans were traveling outside of the United States. I was traveling with my wife for about a year. The last time I traveled I took my daughter to Italy for two weeks five years ago and showed her all the places I’d been to which was really nice.
What are you currently working on?
Actually today before I met you I had to write some sports articles and then I got home and I had a really nice idea for an emotional painting that I’m going to start working on after I go to Manny’s. I think people are going to be really surprised.