The Ironman Cometh

James Liccione's metallic art is on show everywhere, from the Museum of Art to Sesame Street.
Standing over six feet tall, Grandfather Timepiece is true to Liccione’s dual commitment to beauty and functionality; it is a working, battery-operated clock constructed of forged, twisted iron and carved, gilded wood. Created in the mid-’90s, it is currently in the hands of a New York collector.

No, James Liccione does not engage in marathon running, cycling and swimming, but when it comes to manipulating iron to create fascinating objects, he does indeed seem to possess super powers. Liccione is a local metal sculptor with a background spanning from New York City to Milan.

Many Vero Beach residents have seen his work and may not even realize it. If you have ever admired the grand 11-foot-tall gates that adorn the west side of the Vero Beach Museum of Art, adjacent to the café, then you have been touched by Liccione’s work. While fulfilling the museum’s desire for a traditional European look, the gates stand as a memorial to Liccione’s father and hero, who helped his son design them while fighting cancer and passed away two weeks before their completion in early 2000. So intense is Liccione’s respect for his father that he requested the gates’ dedication in lieu of payment for the project.

The senior Liccione, a second-generation Italian-American, was something of a Renaissance man and a great inspiration to his family. He was a bona fide war hero, having been decorated with a Purple Heart for his World War II service in the Aleutian Islands, but he was also a sensitive and creative man. Liccione Jr. remembers his dad performing frequent wood and stone work around their Rochester, N.Y., home. “I feel that a creative person doesn’t necessarily have to make something that is put on a pedestal,” Liccione says.

 Read the entire article in the January 2007 issue