Sculptor Geoffrey Gorman has always been fascinated by Egypt and its art, so when he had the chance to travel to Egypt last year, he seized the opportunity.
Wandering through several Egyptian museums, where he saw amazing images of priests wearing animal heads, was an experience that stuck with him long after his return home to Santa Fe.
“People can be portrayed as having both human and animal attributes in Egypt,” Gorman explains. “The images I saw in Egypt inspired me to create a series of animal sculptures with animals in upright, human positions.”
“Standing Tall,” Gorman’s new show opening at Selby Fleetwood Gallery on August 11 and running through August 30, is an exhibit of animals in upright positions.
“I had to think about what would happen if I had an animal on its tiptoes,” adds Gorman, who uses found and lost objects in his work. “Balance became an issue. Figuring out the interior structure capable of holding a piece up was a fun challenge.”
Among the upright animals in the show are a red fox, antelope, coyote and house cat. A deer with no base is designed to stand against a wall. Other animals are positioned on secure bases made from materials including a shoe shine box, typewriter box and found metal. Gorman used cabinet poles, which harken back to his days as a furniture maker, as feet on bases.
Growing up on an old plantation in the country outside of Baltimore, Maryland was an adventuresome experience for Gorman, who played in woods filled with animals, dilapidated barns and fallen houses. After attending several art colleges, he started designing and building contemporary furniture. Before becoming a full-time artist, Gorman was involved in the art world as a gallery dealer, art curator, art consultant and artist coach.
Today, his artistic passion is expressed by taking damaged tree branches and old sticks, stained strips of cloth, all kinds of metal nails and screws and various used items he finds at thrift and antique stores and creating a menagerie of animals.
“Assembling found and lost objects into curious and evocative shapes is what excites me,” he says.