In “Freewheeling,” Deborah Brown exhibits paintings of car salvage lots, cement factories, and detritus from the landscape of Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood. The new work enters the domain of fantasy, leaving literal interpretation in favor of a Bushwick of the imagination. Carcases of flattened and stacked cars resemble ziggurats from the ancient world, while cement trucks and tanks buried in sand masquerade as amphora and rocket ships. The palette is high-key and odd, the light source eerie. Through their lush paint handling and loopy lexicon of images, the paintings celebrate the power of place to inspire the imagination.
Deborah Brown is represented by Lesley Heller Workspace in New York where she showed “The Bushwick Paintings” in January/February 2011. She has had a studio in Bushwick since 2006, and, in 2010, started a gallery now called Storefront Bushwick, which she owns and directs. She serves on the board of Momenta, NURTUREart and Brooklyn’s Community Board #4. In addition to her work as a painter, she has executed public art projects around the country including permanent artwork commissioned by the MTA for the Houston Street subway station in Manhattan and a series of roundels for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Terminal at the Port of Miami for Miami-Dade Art in Public Places. Her interview with Lucie Alig, “Not an Aesthetic, But an Attitude: Artist Deborah Brown on the Future of Bushwick’s Art Scene,” appeared in ArtInfo in September 2011.