for bad bots

Deborah Brown


Deborah Brown mines art history, literature and mythology for images that she then subjects to the whimsical blender of her imagination. In one series of paintings, well-known images from Romantic and Modern art leave the confines of the museum to roam prosaic, pastoral landscapes. The work employs strategies of recognition, displacement and whimsy. Referencing iconic images such as Picasso's Boisgeloup sculptures and metal cut outs and marble busts by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Brown places figural images in unexpected contexts so that they become characters we identify with and anthropomorphize. By assuming a more human attitude, the recontextualized figures become vehicles for a full range of thoughts and emotions--contentment, abjection, yearning, despair or glee. The artist returns the figures to their "origins" as images derived from the human figure. The twist is that this transformation takes place through the vocabulary of painting. Art returns to life through art.