August 4th, 2020
By Veronica Vale
This month, Gallery MAR is excited to showcase three incredible artists in our latest exhibition, “A New Way.” We have had the privilege of seeing and cherishing the work of Jared Davis and Ron Russon for years. However, Colorado-based artist Dolan Geiman, who we proudly represent at our Gallery MAR Carmel gallery, may be an unfamiliar face to our Park City collectors. So, please allow us to offer a warm introduction to the unique and vibrant style of mixed media artist, Dolan Geiman.
Although Geiman currently resides in Colorado, the artist originates from the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. In the East, he spent much of his childhood dreaming of the great and wild West. This fascination with the history, culture, and mythology of the West permeates through his work today, echoing the fantasies of his imaginative youth with a sophisticated vibrancy. Geiman recalls, “I always heard stories and folk tales about the West. I’m into mythology, and I grew up always thinking of the West as one big place with no states or boundaries.” From this holistic view of the West emerges a plethora of characters from the cowboys of the American West to the Vaqueros and Charros of traditional Mexican history.
These characters, created through a variety of media from 3-D sculptures of found objects to colorful paper collages, pay tribute to the rich history of the West. Geiman observes, “When I get to building all of these portraits, it’s me recreating the West as I’ve always known it in my subconscious. The figures and characters become larger than life. I’m interested in digging into history and exploring the rich cultures that were here before we were here – exposing them and combining them with what we already know. It gives the West more flavor and color.”
“Each piece of art I produce contains material truly special to me for its ability to tell a story and stir wonder for the rugged American landscape.”
Geiman’s ardent fascination with history has led to a lifetime of collecting, from digging for Civil War relics in his youth to rummaging through forgotten spaces today. These found objects inevitably found their way into his artwork where Geiman transforms discarded objects into brilliant works of art. Of this transformation, Geiman writes, “I believe my artistic process originates at the moment I begin rummaging through an abandoned barn, a derelict warehouse, or a gnarly industrial scrapyard. To me, these places are veritable treasure chests of artistic materials. These locations allow me to discover vast bounties of discarded and historical items inspiring the work that I produce in unique and often unexpected ways. Each piece of art I produce contains material truly special to me for its ability to tell a story and stir wonder for the rugged American landscape.”
Geiman’s wonder of the American landscape may have started in the East, but since his move out to Colorado, Geiman has found new meaning in the word “rugged.” He explains, “before when I lived out East, the Western landscape was simply a postcard scene to me. Living here, experiencing the West, has made a difference. Now, when I’m standing on the edge of a canyon or when I see a wildfire blazing down the side of a mesa, I’m exposed to something so wild and vulnerable. It makes the landscape all the more real and intense.” This intensity shines through Geiman’s work whether through the rawness of his found material or the boldness of his use of color. Each piece is crafted carefully and methodically, giving the overall work a delicacy that mimics the vulnerability he observes in the Western landscape. Even his characters echo this boldness in the intensity of their stare and the defiance of their stance.
Lately, Geiman’s pieces seem to have increased in their intricacy. Of this evolution he observes, “I’m not just pushing an idea out anymore. Now I take more time to develop an idea a little bit more.” This increased time and attention to detail that Geiman dedicates to the creation of his latest works encourages us as viewers to spend more time receiving the work. His work beckons us to sit with it for a while to properly appreciate its beautiful complexity.
Fortunately, in this new time of COVID-19, time is something we can afford a little more. This age of quarantines and social distancing is part of the inspiration behind the group exhibition’s title, “A New Way.” Geiman, a veteran of art fairs and festivals, is accustomed to taking his work on the road. He often meets his patrons in-person at his booth. However, the social distancing restrictions brought on by COVID-19 has radically changed his interactions with his patrons and the art community as a whole. He explains, “I’m used to going out and setting up a booth in front of a couple hundred thousand people, so this is a new way of showing my work.” Geiman views this change with optimism, however: “It’s a new way of seizing opportunities with other people.”
This latest exhibition has provided Geiman with an opportunity to exhibit his work alongside artists Jared Davis and Ron Russon at Gallery MAR’s Park City location. “There’s something so nice about having your work hung up on nice, clean white walls,” he says, “It feels like a new experience altogether, especially for my patrons. It gives them an opportunity to see my work at an elevated level. I feel very lucky to be able to do that.”
“A New Way” group exhibition with Jared Davis, Ron Russon, Dolan Geiman is open now. We hope you have an opportunity to stop by Gallery MAR this month to see Dolan Geiman’s rich, lively work elevated.
We would like to extend our gratitude to Dolan Geiman for the conversation on his life, work, and latest show.