Korpi was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, in 1942. He graduated from public schools and after serving in the Army, with a tour in Vietnam, attended the University of Minnesota. In 1976, he received a B.A. cum laude in Philosophy and History with a minor concentration in the Arts.
He continued at the University as a teaching Fellow for another year. He interrupted this academic career to become an apprentice at the Corcoran Museum's experimental serigraphy workshop in Washington, D.C.
The exacting standards applied at the workshop attracted such well-known artists as Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Sam Gilliam, Frank Stella, Gene Davis and Paul Jenkins. Under the direction of Master Printer Luther Stovall, he spent three years in the world of working artists learning the art of fine hand printing.
By 1973 his own work in color theory was recognized and exhibited at the Phillips Collection. His paintings and prints have since been exhibited and collected by major museums, prominent corporation and important private collectors.
This select group includes the Corcoran, the Hirshhorn, the Brooklyn Museum, the High Museum, the Ringling Museum, the San Diego Art Center, IBM, 3M, Time-life, Atlantic Richfield, AT&T, Coopers-Lybrand and many others.