Deborah Faye Lawrence
Deborah Faye Lawrence
I make artworks which comment on North American life and current events in ways that are serious and sardonic. I employ cut and paste as a meditation, to focus my mind on something manageable, as I try to find beauty in the scraps that cross my table. This contemplative practice may be preventing my personal dissolution into neurotic, phobic, narcissistic paranoia. What else can one do, when one’s compulsion to decorate is accompanied by an abject horror of the status quo?
In the studio, as I wrestle with magazine cut-outs, fabric and adhesive, I habitually resort to ransom-note lettering in an effort to answer questions like “What makes all those power-mongering empire builders so #!!!%@& diabolical?” If my sense of humour prevails, the pieces of paper become better organized, and my own bilious misanthropy is reconciled with a little optimism about the human race. Some people call this exercise “satire”. I call it Sanity Management. It has helped me since 1976, when I began to take art, history and politics seriously. With time’s passage, as the situation on earth has become more and more severe, I’ve developed an appreciation of didactic art, i.e., art which educates and explains instead of mystifying the viewer. As an educator and artist, it’s my job to make art that is meaningful and beautiful.
Deborah Faye Lawrence’s satirical mixed-media artworks have been published, exhibited and collected internationally. She has received funding and awards from The Creative Capital Foundation, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The Puffin Foundation, The Adolph Gottlieb Foundation, Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Council, WESTAF NEA, and Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and 4Culture, among others. Her full-colour, hardcover artist’s monograph, Dee Dee Does Utopia, was published in 2008 by Marquand Books, Inc. Deborah is former art faculty at Seattle University and Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. She conducts collage workshops in Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland and other settings. A native of California, Lawrence earned a MFA degree from Claremont Graduate University, and has lived with her husband in Seattle since 1993. In 2017, she was awarded Seattle Art Museum’s Betty Bowen Honorable Mention Award, and in 2015 she was granted the Irving and Yvonne Twining Humber Award for Creative Excellence in Visual Art from Artist Trust.
Lawrence’s artwork has been featured in Susan N. Platt’s book, Art and Politics Now: Cultural Activism in a Time of Crisis (Midmarch Arts Press, New York, 2010), and reviewed in Art in America, ArtWeek, Art Papers Magazine, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, West Coast Art + Design, L.A. Weekly, Freedom Socialist Bulletin, The Stranger, Sculpture Magazine, The Seattle Weekly, The Seattle Times, and Seattle Magazine, among many others.