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Talking with Mixed-Media Artist Dolan Geiman

Thursday, August 5, 2010 · No Comments

Dolan Geiman is pretty hard to pin down… but in a good way. The Virginia-born, Chicago-based artist creates a staggering array of art that combines found materials, drawing, painting, collage and screenprinting. As a result much of his work is 3-D even if it’s meant to hang on the wall. I asked Geiman about his Southern roots and his perspective on the art world…

Could you explain your motto “contemporary art with a southern accent?”

Yes indeed!  I was born in the hills of Ol’ Virginny or the Old Dominion as it’s known. Virginia has always been my first love and when I moved to Chicago, I was afraid of losing my southern accent.  But it looks like I can still say y’all with the best of ‘em! Aside from the literal ‘accent’, my work is tinged with a southern, folk-inspired vernacular with a contemporary edge that makes it appealing to both Yankees and Rebels alike.

How do you balance design work and your personal art?

I’m a Libra, so balance comes naturally to me.

What’s your dream project (commissioned or personal)?

I’m very fortunate to be working on my dream project as we speak with the watch and accessories giant, FOSSIL. I’ve always wanted to collaborate with a larger entity, be it corporate or otherwise, to be able to share my creativity with a larger audience. It’s finally come true. For more information, check out updates on my blog and Fossil. My window displays for Fossil’s Dallas NorthPark Center and Fifth Avenue stores will be on display for the next two weeks.

What do you mean when you say that your goal is to “expand the notion of ‘fine art'”?

Many people have told me that they think of fine art as something that is stuffy and comes in a golden frame from a gallery, but to me, fine art is more about the personality of the creator and the dedication to his or her art that elevates it beyond the scope of ordinary into the realm of ‘fine.’

How do you see the art world changing?

There are more artists in the world now than ever before and with the rise of things like Etsy, I think more artists can share their work.  This has a great impact on the world of art because you really have to have your act together to make it these days. There is more competition and people are more capricious about what they like.  So it’s very challenging.

What’s your most and least favorite thing about selling art online?

There is always a loss of something when you sell art online; the most obvious is that my art is sometimes tactile and the viewer cannot reach out and examine the nuances of the surface. However, I have picked up so many new clients from areas like Australia and Portugal that having the online world as my oyster has made me very ecstatic.

What’s most popular with buyers?
People buy what they like so it’s hard for me to nail down one specific item or theme.  I sell a handful of products almost every weekend at the art fairs and I am always surprised at what becomes more popular in different states.  I would say my most popular seller across the board is my collection of Panel Paintings mostly because they are affordable and ready to hang.

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