Featured Artist: Deborah Oropallo
Northern California artist Deborah Oropallo deconstructs just about every riveting image she constructs, leaving us with a fresh, powerful and unfinished feeling. Her works strike with life’s immediacy – fragmented and torn with upheaval and finished with graphic layered grace. Her fine art background brings painterly swashes and smudges to the table, contributing tactile finesse and implied motion within each image.
Truly a mixed media artist, Oropallo’s work incorporates camera, computer, printer and paint. Multitudes of shuffled layers are remixed to create a fusion of time and place, form and content, nuance and subtlety. Her primary process is in her editing, random distortions evolve or remain. With a keen eye, what she chooses to remove or add is the key to its final fantastic impact.
“It’s not just searching for the new; it’s building on the old… As a painter you are painting on the shoulders of everyone who came before you, and all of the work you have seen and made in the past 30 years—that’s in every piece.”
Her earlier subject matter ranges from female fairy-tale characters to the Catholic schoolgirl (above), 17th and 18th century portraits of men from the Internet and cross dressers – intentionally blurring the line between sexuality and power.
In her 2014 show Milk Made, at Catharine Clark Gallery, she reflected on relationships between animals and food. (Below) Derived from Oropallo’s recent personal experiences on her farm and the “innate gentleness and ferocity omnipresent in living with animals.”