Dolan Geiman Reuses Found Materials In Unique Ways

Mixed-media artist, Dolan Geiman, specializes in the reuse of found materials (anything from reclaimed wood and salvaged metal to vintage papers), creating highly textured and intricately detailed art pieces and collages.

“I decided on the medium of collage because I didn’t have money to buy ‘proper’ supplies like fancy brushes or even canvas when I first started out,” he admits on his website. “The paper I used then and still use today comes from abandoned spaces – old farmhouses, burned down buildings, abandoned gas stations, and the like.”

Multilayered and rich in narrative, his artwork weaves tales of foregone eras and untamed wilderness in an attempt to reignite our sense of adventure and wonder for the rugged American landscape. “I grew up on a farm, caught crickets and bailed hay, painted with mud, dug up civil war relics, listened to midnight mockingbirds,” he writes. “These are the ingredients of life that have stuck with me and have built the foundation for the artwork I set forth into the world.” 

Previously employed as an Interpretive Naturalist for the USDA Forest Service, Geiman seeks to combine his interests in art-making with his studies of biology and American history. Inspired by his longstanding fascination with the flora and fauna of his native Shenandoah Valley, country-western iconography, and folk and agrarian traditions, his expansive portfolio includes large-scale faux-taxidermy wall sculptures, elaborate paper collage portraits of classic American icons, and Animalia, as well as a plethora of mixed media works.

Handcrafting each work from an array of materials he’s been salvaging and collecting since I was a child, one single collage piece can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to complete. “I like to spend time reminiscing on the past while flipping through the pages of decades forgotten magazines, intently searching for the perfect shape, color, or texture within a periodical’s pages to add to my archive of collage elements,” he says.

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