I am a nomad, a migrant, a cultural hybrid and a wander woman, born in Brazil, raised in Israel and now living in the diverse New York City borough of Queens. My art reflects the yearning to belong, and the urge to embrace many perspectives through the dualities of high and low, darkness and light, beautiful and repulsive, pathetic and glorified.
I paint and draw through multiple actions of layering, pouring, dripping and spilling color, through repeated events of pigment application and erasure and mark making. I paint on the wall, floor and the table, mimicking the wanderer’s frequent relocations, often working on the canvas sideways and upside down.
My painting process entails repeated cycles of creative and destructive processes. Surfaces and images get erased as they emerge, painted over as they solidify, and then altered again, leaving behind residues and the rich soil of the under-paint.
My paintings and drawings often depict inner and outer landscapes that allude to the body, to the earth, to paths and physical quests. These images draw parallels and seek union between my feminine succession and Mother Earth’s life cycles, our striking, brutal, and fierce expressions, magic, fury and grace. Flora, fauna and the elements of fire, water, earth and sky are all manifestations of inner vistas as much as outer typographies. They are meditations on time, temporality and change, on spirit and matter. Embedded in my work are themes of migration, women’s journeys and earth deterioration. These themes are largely tied to a critique of Western, Post-Capitalist society and its systematic exploitation of humans and natural resources.
Painting allows the release of a wide range of emotions, intuitive understandings and associations that have no vessel in ordinary speech. It also demands from me visceral expression and trust in the intelligence of my body over the regurgitation of the mind. I find that the return to intuitive, sensory and more ancient forms of knowledge, in this day and age is ultimately a transgressive act.
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Deborah Wasserman was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, she grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel, and is currently living and working in NYC. Wasserman is a graduate of the California Institute of the Arts, the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has exhibited in the USA at The Queens Museum Of The Arts, The Bronx Museum Of The Arts, White Columns, Pierogi 2000, Socrates Sculpture Park and A.I.R gallery. Internationally, Wasserman has shown in Brazil, the Netherlands, Germany, and Israel.
Wasserman is a grant recipient of the Experimental Television Center, Aljira Center for the Arts, the A.I.M. Program at the Bronx Museum and the America-Israel cultural foundation. She received an IAP Social Practice fellowship from NYFA in 2017, a grant from the Puffin Foundation in 2018, a grant from Citizens committee for New York in 2019 and a Queens Council On The Arts New Work grant in 2020. In addition, Wasserman has been awarded a Su- Casa award from the New York State Department Of Cultural Affairs every year since 2015.