Dick Chicken #1, 2010,oil on canvas, 78 X 96 inches. Courtesy of Lesley Heller Workspace.
Deborah Brown’s most recent paintings represent the urban landscape with an equal respect for chaos and for crumbling, serendipitous beauty. Drawing inspiration from Bushwick, Brooklyn, the community where she works, Brown examines her post-industrial surroundings with a fresh and questioning eye, noting down decay and rejuvenation with the same authoritative, sympathetic brush. Glowing candy-colors and luminous skies juxtaposed with blurred shadows and ominous forms create a strangely harmonious universe, one where the traces of humanity are glimpsed but the human presence is never directly seen. The viewer is left to wonder whether people are unwelcome in an eerie, fractured Utopia, a strangely balanced ecosystem that, having survived our disruptive influence, has taught itself to get along without us.