Sunday, January 25, 2009

Interview With The Artist*

WHO ARE YOU? I'm many things. I started out in art school many years ago majoring in photography. Now I'm a practicing artist, and have been for the last several years. I've also been helping my Santa Fe gallery dealer, Jane Sauer, with art fairs around the world. That involves setting up the booth and selling the art. Last fall we were in Beijing, China, and later in Chicago, participating in art fairs. I created 65 drawings and one print based on my impressions of the people that I met while in Beijing. This picture shows 6 of the drawings.

I also continue to coach and consult with artists and arts organizations. But I'm putting most of my focus on making a living at creating and selling my sculptures and drawings. So I guess I'm this combination of struggling artist, prepator, gallery dealer, coach and business man.

THAT'S QUITE A VARIETY OF ACTIVITIES...WHY SO MANY? I feel pretty lucky that I'm able to use many of my skills and past experiences. In constructing my sculptures I'm using my knowledge of woodworking from my many years as a custom furniture maker. In promoting and marking my own art, I'm following my own advice. And it's been pretty interesting to see how it works from the other side, the side of the working artist, the ones who have to survive in the commercial art world. Its tougher than I thought, what I mean is I have to be tougher, harder, more persistent, even pushy, when it comes to promoting myself. Being a professional artist is not for the meek and mild!

WHAT ABOUT THE ART FAIRS? I was a gallery dealer for fifteen years. But I thought I was over that part of my life. In fact I've actually really been enjoying working with Jane, setting up and hanging the shows, and selling both my work and other artist's work. The China fair was pretty slow but the show in Chicago in November was amazingly busy...and fun. Being in Beijing was fascinating and we met some interesting gallery dealers and artists.

I'VE JUST BECOME FAMILIAR WITH YOUR SCULPTURES. THEY ARE CURIOUS, TO SAY THE LEAST... I've heard worse, I guess. Some people are really turned off when they see my pieces. Other people totally get them. Hey, I'm happy that I can get any response at all, good or bad.

Recently I've been finding my images on other blogging sites from people I've never met, but they've been compelled enough to share my work with their audience. That's pretty cool. But I think about them very much as living, breathing dynamic creatures. (They live in a world just outside of our perception. Don't forget that they are WILD creatures. They see us but we don't see them.)

I just completed this piece that is a fanciful crane, part of a series of birds I am calling prosperity birds. She's pretty weathered and care-worn but just as strong and active as ever. She is out in a marshy area collecting moss for her nest, where she lives with a large group of other birds. Her legs have been dipped in blue paint, and have that wonderful feeling of being in water (at least I hope that is the effect.)

WHAT ARE PROSPERITY BIRDS? Have you seen the cranes and wildlife that come to the bosque in southern New Mexico?
Its this fantastic wildlife refuge where a variety of birds stop by in the winter. I love the sandhill cranes that hang out there. They are fascinating to watch, when they walk its like seeing a bird on stilts, gawky and awkward but at the same time majestic. And the earthy sounds they make sound like broken sticks being hit against each other. They have these long bills that they wield around like lances or something.

My prosperity birds are based on them, and also the cranes from Japanese culture. They are considered to bring good luck and prosperity. I hope that my birds can do the same.

*This is Part 1 of a 3 Part interview with Geoffrey Gorman conducted by **BIRD, a private arts organization. (**both irrational rational dialog)

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