Deborah Essés

Feeling Pop
31.5″x47″; mixed media and collage on paper; 2013

Deborah Essés
London, United Kingdom


My artwork flows from what’s strictly personal to what other people have shared with me: observing and mimicking human behaviour has become my “line of conduct”. The themes play without interruption from figures with movement to women. The works reflect me and my own history as depicted on canvas and on paper.

Acrylic, mixed media and collage tend to be my favourite media, from leftover paint and paper cuts to the assemblage of images and different materials all on 2D, bringing together shots of colour in a very rich spatial language.

I suppose I can be described as a story teller who learnt the stories from travelling and moving around the world, a story teller who re-traces the anecdote with each picture, showing people’s attitude rather than the places I visited. The work is therefore not completely “innocent”, neither is it as clear-cut as it appears to be. I would like viewers to be able to interact with my work.

Influences: foremost everything I see and everyone I talk to. German expressionism and painters like Egon Schiele, Ernie Barnes, Neo Rauch, Gerard Richter and many more.


Deborah Essés was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1966, where she spent her childhood. When she was 15, she started her Fine Art studies at the Instituto Beato Angelico graduating with her first degree in 1985.

In 1986, Essés attended a one-year postgraduate course at Tel Aviv University, studying Art History in the Middle East. She then returned to Buenos Aires, where she enrolled in a Mixed Media course at the Ernesto de la Cárcova Fine Arts Academy under the lead of artist and professor Alfredo Portillos. The following year she travelled throughout Europe, and became particularly interested in life in London, where she would later move to live and work.

Between 1990 and 1993, she began using the collage technique. From the very beginning Essés felt attracted to depict the emotional aspect of each subject and the psychology behind each of her characters, rather than reproducing or imitating figures in an academic way. Her work owes much to modern expressionism, to masters like Otto Dix, Oskar Kokoshka, Ernie Barnes and the Chinese painters Yue Minjun and Yang Shaobin and yet with an entirely individual style.

Movement is what appears to be at the centre of her artistic production, together with a repertoire of personalities that appears inexhaustible. She would later explain “my initial decision to focus on movement themes comes from my own physical moving from town to town and from country to country…perhaps accompanied by an internal movement that doesn’t seem to be appeased…”

She spent many years travelling until in 2002 she decided to finally settle in the UK, living first in Kent, and moving later to London. In her work there are couples dancing, athletes stretching their bodies and a whole world of joy where fun prevails over all.

The large canvasses put an emphasis on the freedom of women and their ability to enjoy womanhood be they truly dull or hypersexy women. There are a few pictures of women viewed from behind; these refer to how the human being has turned its back on insanity and prostitution, sending children to war.

Essés currently lives in London where she has her studio and gallery.


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Look At Me
35.4″x23.6″; mixed media and collage on paper; 2013

Rosie’s Night
47″x31.5″; mixed media and collage on paper; 2013