BACK OF BEYOND

Poised in an arid netherworld between strip malls and car lots, Wonder Valley lies just beyond the vacant, shuttered stare of the American Dream. Commercialism gnaws at the edges of this desert mountain wilderness - its embattled landscape of ragged palms, mountains, and eroding homestead cabins provides austere refuge to semi-nomadic enclaves of fringe-toed lizards, kangaroo rats, idiosyncratic visionaries and anachronistic loners.

 

Boom Boom, 2011 Wonder Valley, CA  Oil on canvas 36 x 36 inches

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.

Quintan Ana Wikswo