“There is a narrative quality in my work,” says contemporary collage artist Deborah Stevenson.
Deborah Stevenson is a Washington-born contemporary collage artist. She got her art education in museums and the studios of artists she knew. Deborah never went to art school but painters Dan McCleary and David C. Kane encouraged her.
Making art was something Deborah always loved doing, going as far back as she can remember. It wasn’t until she was in her early 30’s that she decided to commit to it seriously. For the first twenty+ years, she focused on painting and later came to working in collage exclusively, which she continues to do.
Journey to Becoming a Contemporary Collage Artist
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Perfect Blending of narrative and the visual
The intense color, the powerful black and white, and the perfect blending of story and the visual are all things that impress me.
Deborah’s work is in the style of surrealist masters and so much of what she does is spontaneous. She makes pieces in the moment, without any forethought or preconception of what she wants to make. “There is a narrative quality in my work,” she says, “in the sense that a story may be suggested by what emerges. But the main thing to me is that the images say something that I cannot say in words. That is such a strong element in the work of the original surrealists, and why their art has endured.”
Moreover, a life-long interest in Eastern philosophy and Jungian psychology has contributed to Deborah’s fascination with allegory and symbology. Themes that recur in her style of work express metaphorically her exploration of concepts of power, beauty, the Feminine, and mysterious archetypal conjunctions.
Preoccupation with themes expressed metaphorically
There are several collage projects Deborah has been nursing in her imagination for years. One is a series of pieces on themes, which reflect her studies in, and preoccupation with, Buddhist teachings. Another series she is working on is an autobiographical set of imagery, expressed metaphorically. At the same time, Deborah continues to participate in collective collage projects with others around the globe, and – in the pre-Covid days – teaching. The artistic vision of many filmmakers had a huge effect on her projects such as Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurosawa.
A contemporary collage artist’s legacy
“I hope that my art will have a life of its own after I am gone. I do believe that we are all here with a purpose, and that mine has been to explore through my art all the myriad rooms in the house of my imagination, and the chambers of my heart. It has been important to me to access my subconscious through what I do and to set my ego aside to allow a more authentic statement to come through. If I can make a contribution to the deep stream of all collage art, that would be very gratifying.”
To see Deborah’s latest artworks, visit Saatchi Art >