Maker Spotlight: Dolan Geiman
From left to right: “Rose and Thorn” and “Cowgirl with Bandana”
Artwork that celebrates icons of the past while creating inspirations for the present.
If you’ve been to a Denver Flea, you’ve likely seen Colorado mixed media artist Dolan Geiman and his vibrant art pieces, which range from paper collage portraits to faux-taxidermy wall sculptures. Drawing inspiration from country-western icons, folk traditions, and flora and fauna of the Southwestern region, Dolan works with reused found materials such as vintage papers, salvaged wood and scrap metal, resulting in extremely captivating, unique artwork.
As longtime fans already know, Dolan’s expansive collection includes numerous pieces featuring strong females sporting attention-grabbing face paint and masks. Over the past year, the artist has been working on new iconic ladies to add to the “tribe of badass cowgirls” that have been and will continue to be introduced on Dolan’s website and at various shows throughout 2018.
“Vaquera Sudoeste (Red)”
The growing “sisterhood” has largely been influenced by the powerful women in Dolan’s own life; however, these pieces also are a reflection of the current political and social times here in the US. We’re in an age where Americans can, and often need to be, both vocal about their beliefs and active in taking steps toward achieving change – and in Dolan’s case, his artwork does just that. The artist tends to not get involved in politics unless it is an issue involving animals, but after seeing how human and women’s rights have folded together in recent years, Dolan felt the need to focus on the issues at hand. Weaving together an inspiration narrative, Dolan’s cowgirls are designed to be tough, larger-than-life figures as well as supportive voices for women’s movement.
The first new figure to debut this year is “Rose and Thorn,” an original Dia de los Muertos collage of a cowgirl with sugar skull makeup (featured above). Like with all of his collages, Dolan used no paint but instead, papers that are chosen for their printed color and found in a variety of sources such as vintage magazines, old ticket stubs, comic books, and old maps. He then cut the paper by hand with scissors and layers all of the shapes to create the image.
“Rose and Thorn” in the creation process
The artist’s attention to detail is evident in every art piece, so it’s no surprise that Dolan has a unique process of finding the papers featured in his collages. A frequent cross-country traveler, Dolan stops at abandoned spaces like old farm houses, gas stations, old school buildings to gather paper articles. All of the found papers are then catalogued and sorted by color and age in his studio, waiting to be hand-chosen by Dolan when starting a new collage creation process.