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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
See more of Geoffrey Gorman’s work
and learn about his workshops
Finding the Soul of Forgotten Materials
on his site
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
All photos copyright Jennifer Esperanza 2016