Presented as alone in their private worlds, the softly lit children in Deborah Martin’s new series, “Portraits of Autism,” leave an after-image. In these portraits Martin explores complex emotions within the landscape of the souls of autistic children.Read More
Portraits of Autism provides multiple opportunities for a better understanding of autism as it presents each subject with a compassionate viewpoint to show each child as a complete person not only defined by their disability.Read More
Martin contextualizes The Salton Sea: Lost in Paradise with memorabilia from the collection of the late Jennie Kelly, a passionate advocate for the Salton Sea and its history who founded the Salton Sea History Museum that was originally located inside of the North Shore Yacht Club.Read More
Martin’s intuitive understanding of autism stems from years of working with special-needs children and an enduring relationship with a close friend who struggles with this complex spectrum disorder.
The families committed to the project span the country. Through social media, Martin keeps track of each child and his or her support system.Read More
In the last five years, Deborah Martin has concentrated on painting local habitations far removed from mainstream America, yet evoking quintessential core values in our national psychology. She manages to avoid a voyeuristic curiosity while honestly exposing unselfconscious attitudes of strange places where people have made themselves comfortable... Martin is something of an archivist, seeking out stories lost in time…motivated by the jumble of memory, wanting some confusion to activate her emotion.Read More
Over the past 30 years, however, interest in works by Wendt, Edgar Payne, Guy Rose, Maurice Braun, and others has increased in lockstep with American art in general. And many notable paintings depict the Palm Springs and the surrounding desert towns. Today, the Impressionist tradition continues with desert landscape painters such as Mary-Austin Klein, William Scott Jennings, Deborah Martin, Niles Nordquist, Andrew Dickson, and others.Read More
Walt Whitman wrote in the preface to the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass, “The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he has absorbed it.” This theme manifests throughout the work of Deborah Martin, a contemporary painter who conveys the essence inherent within marginalized communities that exist on the fringes of American society.Read More
(POD CAST) ART TALK: Chris Busa Interviews Painter Deborah MartinRead More
While Martin has been compared to Truro’s Edward Hopper and Maine’s Andrew Wyeth, her brushwork has an open, flowing spontaneity; still, her subject has much in common with painters whose melding of landscape and structure offer a template for isolation and separation.
Martin’s paintings share Hopper’s sense of mystery: scenes tiptoe close enough to their off-balance subjects without intruding. In the desert paintings, Martin’s interest is what is lost when hardscrabble land attracts a developer’s eye; in her “Narrow Lands” series, a soft palette intimates the loss of the built environment, abandoned or gentrified into oblivion.Read More
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.Read More
In Back of Beyond, Martin immortalizes a 21st century desert struggle against destruction, and her lamentation for the disappearing landscape is also a praise song to the improbable power of endurance, tenacity, and longing.Painter Deborah Martin has established a compelling dominion as portraitist of an archaic America – ravaged sites and forgotten wastelands that nonetheless resist destruction. Her luminous paintings and photographs reveal the beauty in the bleak, and speak to the tenuous balance between home, depravation, isolation, community and hope.Read More
For decades, artists have come to the sea to put their stamp on its waters. In April, the Salton Sea History Museum in the restored North Shore Yacht Club opened its inaugural exhibition, Valley of the Ancient Lake: Works Inspired by the Salton Sea.
Curated by Deborah Martin (with historical works and memorabilia provided by Jennie Kelly), the exhibition features 10 artists who focus their work on the sea. To contextualize their paintings, drawings, and photographs, it’s helpful to know they follow the path of several generations of artists.Read More
Martin’s noirish and oddly poignant images offer a hauntingly intimate elegy for small town American roadsides, refracted through a grim cataract of muffled sunlight, dusty colors, and bleached, exhausted exposures. Her vacant neighborhoods suggest a peaceful, bucolic apocalypse in which human abandonment is perhaps as much blessing as curse.Read More
Martin’s work is a kind of interpretative documentation; she stays true to the reality of her selected places. In addition to the Salton Sea sequel, she’s currently at work on a series about Cape Cod’s Narrowlands—a more vegetated but no less remote “vacation” destination less about the desert and more about vines, nature’s reclaiming of the cultivated, the process of decay, and the beauty in the breakdown.Read More