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Deborah Bright

a founding mother of SPE's Women's Caucus


Deborah Bright lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Fogg Museum, Harvard; Addison Gallery of American Art; Katonah Museum of Art; Leslie-Lohman Museum; Victoria and Albert Museum; the Museet for Fotokunst, Copenhagen; Nederlands Foto Instituut, Rotterdam; Museum Folkwang, Essen; Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Vancouver Art Gallery; and included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum; National Museum of American Art; Addison Gallery of American Art; Fogg Art Museum; Leslie-Lohman Museum, Boston Athenaeum, Rose Art Museum; California Museum of Photography and the RISD Museum. She has received numerous grants and awards for her art and critical writing and edited a noted book on queer photography, The Passionate Camera: photography and bodies of desire.


After a productive three decades of practice and writing in photography, I returned to my first loves—painting and drawing—to express thoughts, memories and feelings that have few analogs in the physical world. My drawings and paintings mine an eclectic mix of queer, pop, psychedelic and text-based sources, charged by vivid colors and dynamic compositions where naturalistically rendered forms intertwine with abstract shapes and symbols. These fragmented and supercharged works reflect our turbulent and divided world where angry rants overwhelm voices of reason and where cynicism assaults our faith in ideals. Yet the unrestrained joy evident in many of these works reflects my belief that amid all the pain, despair and fear, we must relish beauty where we find it, assert our capacity for love, and continue to hope for better things no matter what.


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