deborah brown statement

Deborah Brown's recent paintings were executed during the Covid-19 pandemic in New York where the artist lives and works. Reflecting a time of social isolation, the paintings depict individuals in domestic settings with their pets, as well as still life objects drawn from the artist's collections. The common thread is an examination of what it means to be human in a time of loss and resilience.

Drawing on the history of portraiture in Western Art, the artist aims to represent the consciousness of the sitter and the phenomenological act of seeing that unfolds when the viewer meets the gaze of the subject portrayed. The artist explores the way that composition influences narrative by conducting the viewer through the space of the painting. Different viewpoints are employed to place the viewer in a variety of roles: friend, observer, intruder, story teller. The still lifes function like portraits as well, revealing the life of the artist who chose to paint them and functioning as gatekeepers to the artist's thoughts and feelings. Through the action of the paint and brushwork, the figurines, plants and domestic articles come alive and assume human character. The environment created by the paintings is both specific and universal, reminding us that each of us is alone in our inner and external worlds.