Animal Wisdom ~ The Transformational Mixed Media Art of Geoffrey Gorman

Yesterday, my partner Richard Kurtz & I visited the Santa Fe home & studio of artist Geoffrey Gorman.

Geoffrey’s mixed media animal artworks astound me.

It was great to see his new work & catch up with our thoughtful friend.

The words that fallow are the artist’s own, the images are by me & Richard helped me with lighting.

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 “I  use what we refer to as trash — stuff that’s been discarded,
and I’m trying to elevate the trash into something else.
In the art world, everything is so precious and it’s so exclusive– but I’m taking this valueless stuff and I’m giving it a value.
The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

Value is so arbitrary.

I’m not trying to trick people, but I’m trying to say to people that a lot of life is about transformation.

 

 

 

 

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

 

My animals have objects attached to then, kind of like talismans or almost like fetishes.

When they meet each other, the animals know what each of these talismans mean.

In other words, the talismans show rites of passage.

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

If an animal sees another animal that has an earring in its ear, it knows what the earring means. 

It understands that the other animal came from a certain society, and has been initiated into a particular level of that society.

Artist Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

Artist Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe that in the animal world it’s such a dangerous world that you need to be very clear about who is a friend and who is a foe.

So my animals have got all these identifications on them and they’re all members of these little cultures,

just as I believe there are micro-societies in America trying to survive.

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I believe animals are just like humans. Or I should say, maybe humans are just like animals,

but we’ve kind of elevated ourselves and made ourselves feel more important.

I’m using the animals as a metaphor of the human condition. 

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

My animal’s mythologies have evolved.

I see the animals that I’m making now as fighting back against the human world.

Many of them hold objects.

They’ll have a saw, or a ball, or they’ll have a stone.

They will have some sort of object in their hand.

They are using their weapons against what they feel is destroying the environment and destroying their world.

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Painting of the artist as a child • Photo by Jennifer Esperanza

Painting of the artist as a child • Photo by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A broken bent tree branch, bleached from sun and rain, makes me think of weathered bones: fingers, legs, backbone, and hip bone.

Old stained strips of cloth act like bandages and clothing, hiding and holding it all together.

Sculpted wax covers the frame and joints of wood.

Found and lost objects assembled into curious and evocative shapes is what excites me.

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detail from the studio of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

Detail from the studio of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

Detail from the studio of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

Detail from the studio of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

When I am making objects, I think of model airplanes made of balsa wood, then covered in thin transparent paper.

Or I see decoys and shapes made to attract wild animals.

I visited a museum in Alaska that had drawers filled with toys that had been put together, used and collected from previous cultures.

I also think of a forest of tall, dark trees covered in moss and moisture, a silent, meditative place.

Geoffrey Gorman

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

The art of Geoffrey Gorman by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

 

See more of Geoffrey Gorman’s work

and learn about his workshops

Finding the Soul of Forgotten Materials

on his site

www.geoffreygorman.com

Geoffrey Gorman – Having Wings

selbyfleetwood gallery

600 Canyon Road

505 992 6855

August 5  – August 17

Sculptor Geoffrey Gorman presents his dynamic menagerie of mixed media/found object creatures,

from birds in suspended flight to cats mid-pounce, and his to-scale avian wings. 

August 5  – August 17

Opening reception for Geoffrey Gorman Having Wings – Friday August 5, 5 – 7:30 pm

Visit the site of artist Richard Kurtz here

www.richardkurtz.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friends Geoffrey Gorman and Richard Kurtz by Jennifer Esperanza

Friends Geoffrey Gorman and Richard Kurtz by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Piece by Richard Kurtz in Geoffrey Gorman's home • Photo by Jennifer Esperanza

Art Piece by Richard Kurtz in Geoffrey Gorman’s home • Photo by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Planet by Jennifer Esperanza

Green Planet by Jennifer Esperanza

 

 

All photos copyright Jennifer Esperanza 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Comments

  • Alexandra Eldridge

    30.06.2016 at 06:26 Reply

    Wonderful exposure of Geoffrey’s thoughts and work. Such an intimate encounter. Thank you, A.

  • geoffrey gorman

    03.07.2016 at 11:50 Reply

    those photographs are amazing and really capture the mood of my creatures. Thanks so much Jennifer and Richard for coming to my studio and spending time to understand my creatures of curiosity.

  • alain-clement

    04.07.2016 at 06:00 Reply

    What a wonderful work, and the photos are absolutley in harmony, giving to each a real life; for the artist and the photograph : *****

  • randy price

    25.07.2016 at 17:51 Reply

    Thank you for a beautiful introduction to Geoffrey Gorman’s work and vision. Taking nothing to amazing is more than being magical.

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