and Rigoberto Torres began their collaboration in 1979. They met at Fashion Moda, a South Bronx alternative space where Ahearn was producing a collection of plaster cast busts of people from the neighborhood. Rigoberto Torres was one of Ahearn's subjects. Torres also worked with plaster casting to create religious statues and copies of famous works of art in his uncle's shop.
John Ahearn was born in Binghamton, New York in 1951. He received a BFA degree from Cornell University, Ithaca in 1973. Ahearn began making life casts in 1979 while working in Manhattan with an artists' collective called Colab and soon found new subjects in the South Bronx. Ahearn's work was exhibited at Fashion Moda in 1979 in an exhibition entitled South Bronx Hall of Fame, a reference to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans at Bronx Community College. Groupings of his figures have been cast in fiberglass and are on view in public places throughout the South Bronx. Since 1979 Ahearn has often collaborated with Rigoberto Torres.
Ahearn has exhibited widely including Fashion Moda; The Con Edison Building, Bronx; Galerie Rudolf Zwirner, Cologne, Germany; Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York; the Bronx Museum of the Arts; Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. The artists have participated in a wide range of group exhibitions throughout the country. Most recently their work was included in Experiencing Sculpture: The Figurative Presence in America 1870-1990 at the Hudson River Museum, Yonkers; The Decade Show, Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art; The New Museum of Contemporary Art; and The Studio Museum in Harlem, 1990.