Deborah Whitney


After a start in the Boston suburbs, Deb has worked for thirty five years as an art handler doing exhibition work in museums and galleries, and driving miles in trucks.  The palimpsest of these experiences has materially informed her art.  Often the only woman on the job in the early days, the one sent for coffee and always expected to go with the flow.  Deb found herself in the position of having her tools taken out of her hands (because there was an assumption that she did not know how to use them), and also working to stay on the good side of both co-workers and clients, those who very often found working with a woman very suspect. Charting misogynistic seas has been a life filled with creative material of identity and anamnesis.

But while telling a coherent story about others’ art is both refined craft and certain gift, one must consult the entirety of her history as an artist, and, perhaps more so, as a woman in the business of art, to understand the unique perspective her art affords.

Lines, incisions, clear and iconic figures truly embodied, and disrupted, by culture. Bleeding, screaming, laughing/crying, cringing and fighting – referencing the complexities of the female life. A life reviewed in the Talkies, collected phrases of fiction, fact, lyric and (someone’s) confession. A life reviewed in Glamour Pussies and The Pugilists, where identity of beauty is layered with the beast of survival. A life reviewed in The Winter of the Lonely Ghosts when, as poet Mary Reufle writes, “[youth] which is thankfully behind you as you would never want to be a girl again for any reason at all, you have discovered that being invisible is the biggest secret on earth, the most wondrous gift anyone could ever have given you.”

With degrees from institutions on two continents (Mass College of Art, Boston, BFA, and Wimbledon College of Art, London, MA), gallery ownership in two states (Greenport, New York, and Portland, Maine), art moving and installations from Maastricht to Dubai, it is understandable and fitting that Deb’s art focuses on disrupting linear impressions.

Deb currently divides her time between Maine and London.