About the Artwork
Since childhood, Dolan Geiman has been building an archive of found materials that inspire his mixed media artworks on a daily basis. His Chicago studio has come to resemble a life-size cabinet of Southern curiosities, not too dissimilar from the abandoned homesteads of his native Virginia where he has collected, or rescued, many treasures. Scraps from old textbooks and nature magazines, handwritten civil war love letters, metal ornaments, wooden nickels and other discarded ephemera find their way into his work; each item stirs nostalgia for a not-too-distant, more rural time and place Geiman identifies as home.
Trained as a sculptor and printmaker, almost every one of Geiman's artworks is thick with construction. Beginning with a salvaged background surface, oftentimes a panel of wood from shipping crates or road signs, Geiman's ideas achieve form in layers through a mixture of collage, assemblage, drawing, painting, and screen-printing. A first step of painting may be followed by the application of glued papers and objects, or vice versa, resulting in a base image that may then be hand-distressed to take on a weathered or aged appearance. The final addition of a key image, either a single form such as a cowboy or bird or a montage of images, completes the work and becomes its main focal point. This flexible, mutable process results in a signature artwork which occupies a unique space between between folk, collage, and eco-art traditions.