About Face


“About Face”: Marsha Balian & Deborah Benioff Friedman
24 November 2018-5 January 2019

Most of Deborah Benioff Friedman’s work is abstract, but she enjoys making the tiny thumbprint faces that are on display here. Each face is a tiny ink drawing on a thumb or finger print. A few have a watercolour background. They are all faces from her imagination, but Deborah is pretty sure she has met each of them personally, at one time or another. Marsha Balian is a collage artist obsessed with faces. Incorporating found objects and ephemera, Balian’s compositions suggest personalities or narratives pertaining to the faces depicted. Her faces, however, are not specific, and, unlike Benioff Friedman, she can’t say that she has met any of them personally.

Balian’s fascination with faces has come with a bit of a price as she has been caught multiple times staring at people and has to be reminded by friends and family to stop. She is self-taught and admits to difficulty following instructions (unless she has to) so she frequently invents her own techniques, making use of anything at hand including what might be scavenged from the floor of her studio. The faces in the work presented in this show arrived on their own, no one posed, or was photographed, they just show up.

Benioff Friedman is a veterinary ophthalmologist and mixed media artist living and working in the Bay Area. She usually creates both two and three-dimensional pieces, some sculptures, some hanging or mobiles. She incorporates sewing and paper manipulation as well as encaustic, watercolour and joomchi in her artistic process.

(Text adapted from the gallery’s press materials)


GearBox Gallery
770 West Grand Avenue
Oakland, California 94612 USA
(510) 859-5208

Thursday-Friday, Noon-6PM
Saturday, 11AM-5PM
First Friday of the Month, 6-9PM


Notify at Once
by Marsha Balian
mixed media
Courtesy of the artist