If you visit Geoffrey Gorman’s website, and happen to find yourself on the “About” page, you’ll see a picture of Geoffrey in some crazy steampunk-looking googles and radiating this whole Malcolm McDowell, Andy Warhol vibe.
Next to him is a sculpture of an armadillo and a lizard and something I can’t really recognize. Atop the picture is, I suppose, Gorman’s job title: Creator of Mind-altering Experiences. I assume goggles are required.
“The city of Santa Fe decided to do profiles on five interesting artists, and I was one of them,” he says. “They used the material in several marketing projects for the city. They used a photographer called Louis Lurey. He asked me to bring anything eccentric I could to the photo shoot so I brought some welding glasses and wore them just for the hell of it. It made for a pretty dramatic photograph.” Dramatic and representational. Gorman is known for producing some dramatic sculptures, and he makes them out of “alternative” materials. It wasn’t something he planned to do, necessarily. “I started making work in 2005 in conjunction with a show of 80 artists that I was co-curating at St. John’s College,” says Gorman. “I was going to make a piece that could be cast in bronze so I used material that would burn out easily. Before I had the first piece cast, another artist saw it and suggested that I just start working with ‘alternative’ materials, so the early pieces were made from sticks, sculptor’s wax, old rags, tin, wire and junk. It has evolved from there.
“It was totally serendipitous, but somehow these materials must have been waiting inside me, because I have such an attraction and affinity for old stuff like branches, rusted metal, and objects that have had a previous life. I went to art school and majored in photography. Before 2005 had never made or considered making a sculpture-go figure!”
Gorman is new to the Gallery, and as such, you might not have had the chance to see his work in person. Since that’s the case, we asked him to describe it to someone who hasn’t experienced it yet. “I bring together sticks, rusted screws and other metal scrap, washers, bicycle parts, bailing wire, discarded artist canvas and an array of other strange parts to build my own wilderness area streaming with animal life. Some of the residents are ‘tricked out’ with departed screw drivers, vintage keys, wooden balls and other imagined amulets.
“As I travel through life I find inspiration from various experiences. I absorb everyday events of life and remaster them into notable reminders of how careless we are with the preciousness of being.”