- Geoffrey Gorman’s “Apetola Investigates” incorporates a shell of sturdy mountain bike tires. Courtesy of the Jane Sauer Gallery
The first thing you notice about Geoffrey Gorman’s sculptures is their size: they are very big. And mesmerizing. And varied.
Some of them carry what look like whole boxes of bolts, hooks, screws, washers, keys, nails and wires on their backs. Others have mates. All come with Latin names, species identifications and fascinating back stories, courtesy of the irrepressible Mr. Gorman.
If you look at these animals long enough, you can even imagine a complete set of them marching two by two onto a new Noah’s Ark.
I had a chance to chat with Geoffrey about his evolving menagerie at the Jane Sauer Gallery during a recent visit to Santa Fe. Two parts Merlin, three parts Huck Finn, he relishes his role as mythmaking artist and thoroughly enjoys conjuring tales to match each new creature he invents.
Strange names come tumbling out—Degeeri (an otter), Dryomis and Perigyps (two ibis), Jayakari (an antelope), Paromius (a pelican). Body constructions include everything from cedar branches to flattened bicycle tires and talismanic trinkets hanging down from the animals’ torsos.
“We’re all trying to figure out each other’s cultural identifications,” Gorman says of the human race. All the bits and pieces of materials he uses to assemble his menagerie are meant to give hints about the animals’ origins.
Gorman has even created a cultural identifier for himself. ”Sometimes closer spiritually to the animals he creates than the humans he exists with” it reads in part, “Geoffrey Gorman (species name: Geoffrensis) is characterized by an obsessive fascination with discarded artifacts and the development of ‘animology,’ the study and documentation of animal societies showing advanced cultural complexities.”
For a complete profile of Geoffrey Gorman and a look at even more of the creatures he sometimes calls “stick figures with wire,” take a look at the Winter 2012 issue of AmericanStyle. And enjoy!