Archive for May 19th, 2013

Debb VanDelinder-  El Dia de los Muertos 2010I wrote this past week about speaking to some local high school art classes taught by Debb VanDelinder.   I wondered if her students recognized that while she was an educator at both the high school and college level,  she was also an extremely talented and noted artist.  Whether  they understand their good fortune in being able to spend time with such a talent, gaining the benefit of her active intelligence and knowledge, is another question.  I thought this would be a good opportunity to  show a bit of her work and say a few words about it.

Debb works in the field of Scanography which is photography performed on a flatbed scanner.  The images are basically still lifes that are arranged facing down on the bed of the scanner.  The ultra-high resolution and shallow depth of field give  the objects in her images an otherworldly quality, especially in the large formats in which they shown.  Most of her prints are 24″ by 24″ or larger and are printed on aluminum.

Debb VanDelinder-  I Will Break Free 2011I think I am drawn to her work by her use of color, texture and symbolism,  elements that figure greatly in my own work.  I Will Break Free, shown here on the right, is a great example of this.  The deep reds of the pear’s flesh juxtapose brilliantly with the cold charcoal grayness of the barbed wire that entraps it.  The hard edge of the wire contrasts against the soft flesh, scarred from prior pokes from the barbs.  It is a simple image but the use of these contrasting elements changes all perception and it is instantly symbolic of the struggles between all opposing forces.  Light and dark.  Hard and soft. Warm and cool. Good and evil. Freedom and bondage.  Sure, it’s just a pear wrapped with some old barbed wire but Debb gives it layers of meaning with her treatment that take it from mundane to monumental.

Debb VanDelinder-  Georgia's Lament 2010Her work is often concerned with the elemental– plants and bugs, stones and bones– which gives it a resonance with which  we all can instantly connect.  The use of a small animal skull, bleached white and coldly absent, set against the richness of flowers which seem so  vibrant  that they almost seem as though they are brimming with blood reminds of us our own mortality.  But it is not morbid.  It just makes us aware of our commonality, our shared experience.


I could go on.  Her work does that for me, sets off torrents while it appears so simple and calm at the surface.  It’s just plain good stuff.  Go to her site at www.debbvandelinder.com to see more of her work and read more about her.  Like I said, those kids just don’t know how lucky they are…

Debb VanDelinder-  The Fourth Power of Two 2012


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