James Croak (born 1951) is a visual artist known for his work in conceptual figuration and sculpture.
James Croak was born in Cleveland, Ohio.His mother died at the age of two.At the age of 15 he was a recognized musical prodigy and studied under Andrés Segovia, the virtuoso Spanish classical guitarist. At the age of sixteen he gave a series of concerts as a part of the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City.
His “dirt sculpture” technique, which employs a mixture of binder and different kinds of dirt, dust, and soil.According to the artist, the material was developed out of necessity, stating that in 1985, “I wanted to cast a full-size self–portrait, but I couldn’t afford bronze, so I walked down the street to an empty lot, dug up dirt, put it in a wheelbarrow, took it home, mixed it with glue, and pressed it into the plaster mold.”He has also been known to work with found objects and taxidermy. A twenty-year retrospective of his work was held in 1998 at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia.