Deborah Martin has established a compelling dominion as portraitist of an archaic America. A site-specific artist, her work eulogizes the abandoned habitats and domestic landscapes of small town America. As a painter her work has been compared to that of the prominent American realist painters, Edwa...
Deborah Martin has established a compelling dominion as portraitist of an archaic America. A site-specific artist, her work eulogizes the abandoned habitats and domestic landscapes of small town America. As a painter her work has been compared to that of the prominent American realist painters, Edward Hopper (1882-1967) and Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009).
Much of her practice emerges in collaborative conversation with writers and video artists, and takes form through exhibitions, installations and publications. She is recognized for several pivotal bodies of work: Narrow Lands (Provincetown, MA), Home on the Strange: In Search of the Salton Sea (Salton Sea, CA), Back of Beyond (Wonder Valley, CA) and America (U.S.). Her book Home on the Strange: In Search of the Salton Sea was published by Catalysis Projects and written by Amy Sather Smith (2010).
Currently, Martin is living and working in California’s Southern Mojave Desert documenting the unincorporated town of Wonder Valley. In this new body of work titled “Back of Beyond” Martin immortalizes a 21st century desert struggle against destruction. The publication based on this series of paintings is a collaborative effort between Martin and the Los Angeles Poet Nicky Sa-eun Schildkraut.
Deborah Martin has exhibited in galleries and Museums in New York, Provincetown, Boston and Los Angeles. She is a recipient of the 2011 Orlowsky Freed Foundation Grant sponsored in part by the Lilian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation Grant and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.
Martin received her BFA and BS Masters of Arts in Teaching, Art Education from The Museum School of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts University.
"Deborah Martin is blessed with a technique that allows her to portray space and the things in it with a quavering, almost feverish luminosity as she trains her eye on all forms of the American outback. Martin is probably best known for her paintings of the blasted communities that surround the Salton Sea. But she paints other parts of the California desert as well, and has also painted the rural American south, the nether parts of Cape Cod, and other places in this country where society dissolves and individuals find solitude whether or not they seek it. What interests Martin – whose pictures are full of human presence but devoid of humans – is not the mundane or the abject, but how habitation seems only to amplify the emptiness of the land itself. In this respect she extends Edward Hopper’s lonely realms into the context of “new topographic” photography. "