Debra cook Shapiro’s extraordinary paintings are currently on view at The IceHouse Gallery. The exhibition runs through Saturday, November 29th so there is still time to visit. The opening reception was a wonderful event with many people from all over the Bay area. There will be a closing reception as well on Sunday, November 23rd from 3-5 pm. Please come and meet Debra as she will be here to talk about her work and perhaps share a glass of wine. Installation photographs below are interspersed with Debra’s comments on her work and thoughts on paintng. . . Debra Shapiro’s newest body of work features figures in the landscape. Her large, narrative paintings are infused with the emotion and drama of the adolescents who inhabit her luscious outdoor spaces.
The Russian River is the backdrop for the keystone piece ”Russian River” and a Sonoma residence is the location of “Elliot”. The changing states of mind and bodies of the teens, and the heavily atmospheric landscapes are painted with vigorous strokes, using a full repertoire of tools and techniques. Debra’s process is one of altering reality, covering, scraping, swiping paint until the emerging figure is obscured and vaguely recognizable as a specific person. Some pieces are meditative and invite introspection, others vibrate with the emerging sexuality and chaotic agitation. The paintings begin with the scene in the photograph but deep into the painting process, the artist’s memories and imagination take over making it impossible to follow the reference as it appears. Usually it is at this time that a narrative emerges, and the work becomes charged with a sense of mystery, secrecy and vulnerability.