As a mixed media artist myself, I’m a huge fan of Austin based artist Deborah Roberts. AND – talk about good timing – she has a huge show opening at The Contemporary Austin THIS WEEKEND, Saturday January 23, 2021! I had so many questions for her about, well, everything from process to the underlying message in her very powerful, stop you in your tracks work. I read part of her artist statement during the episode, because it just so beautifully explains why Deborah does what she does, so I’m going to put it right here too:

“Wading through my work, you must look through multiple layers, double meanings and symbols. My process combines found and manipulated images with hand drawn and painted details to create hybrid figures. These figures often take the form of young girls and increasingly Black boys, whose well being and futures are equally threatened because of the double standard of boyhood and criminality that is projected on them at such a young age. The boys and girls who populate my work, while subject to societal pressures and projected images, are still unfixed in their identity. Each child has character and agency to find their own way amidst the complicated narratives of American, African American and art history.” ~ Deborah E. Roberts

See? So good. You can listen right up there under “Hip Bone”, or subscribe on Apple Podcasts and or Spotify. Okay… first up, a few of my favorite girls:

Oh my goodness… that final piece! It’s titled “Fighting All the ISM”. Look at everything that goes into each piece… drawing, painting, flat patterns, and zillions of photographs all coming together in perfect harmony.

As Deborah mentioned, the boys needed to be included too. Here are just a few of them:

Gorgeous! It’s their expressions that get me… which is kind of amazing since each face is made up of so many bits from so many people.

Now, I just mentioned this quickly, but yes, Deborah’s work has also graced the the cover of Harper’s Bazaar UK:

Gah! I love those two girls so much. Obviously, I had to include this shot of Deborah in the studio with these pieces because, SCALE!

And finally, the boys and girls all together with…

… the woman who painted, drew and collaged them into existence! Thank you so much to Deborah for taking time out of this very busy, pre-show, week (so exciting!) to come on the podcast; and of course, thanks to YOU for listening. There will be more ART FOR YOUR EAR next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Deborah on Instagram
  2. “I’m” at The Contemporary Austin: Jan 23, 2021 – August 15, 2021 {reserve tickets}
  3. Gallery shots above: Stephen Friedman Gallery, London
  4. Susanne Vielmetter Gallery, Los Angeles
  5. Harper’s Bazaar UK


carmen mcnall



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A post shared by Carmen Mcnall (@carmenmcnall)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Carmen Mcnall (@carmenmcnall)

Any post that starts and stops with an ‘in progress’ video, well, you know it’s gonna be good! Acrylic paint on hand-carved panel, murals that turn corners, and a new, large-scale piece in action. Sigh. This is the gorgeous work of Oakland based artist Carmen McNall, and this is her artist statement:

“My work tells the stories of female figures of strength, focusing on those who work with their hands; keeping alive the artifacts of humanity. I find great power in the passing down of trades from generation to generation, commanding a presence and pride as craft-makers and workers of dying traditions. Incorporating patterns I find in nature, I reflect on the relationship of people and their environments as times change and we change. 

Through my work, I try to recreate the emotional content of a time, place or face that I fear will be lost in the near future.  I am interested in capturing the odd experiences of the human condition. The simple, quiet moments between large events.  The impacting details that make up life that are easily forgotten.”

Beautiful. Happy Friday.

hannah ehrlich haney

Gasp! This beauty is “Evanescent Permanence” by Atlanta based artist Hannah Ehrlich Haney. Hand-dyed fabric woven, tied, and twisted into beautiful – and sometimes tempestuous – landscapes. Here’s part of Hannah’s artist statement:

Her work focuses on the abstraction of landscapes to portray human emotions and a tearing away from normality to question the true being inside us. A space is created where the self can be questioned and the chaos versus order in our emotions can be revealed.

Gorgeous. ps. Follow her on Instagram to get a peek into her studio… looms, dye, and lots of ladders!

marryam moma

Sigh. This is the gorgeous collage work of Tanzanian-Nigerian, Atlanta based artist Marryam Moma. Her artist statement is just as powerful & beautiful as her work, so I’ll hand it over to Marryam:

“At the core of my art practice, I aim to empower and uplift the black female body. Unveiling the magic within this race of people breaks collective contemporary stereotypes, thus changing attitudes and perceptions of black women, allowing society to discover her beauty, ability to add value, appreciate and celebrate her. My collages are focused on elevating the importance of the black experience and this body, in a commitment to exploring the space where spirituality and higher consciousness, gender, race, and sexuality intersect … It is my intention to change the dynamics of how the black body is viewed in a society that is divisive versus inclusive. My work raises awareness that sparks discussions around traveling back into the higher self through racial reconciliation and gender equality. I hope to create a space in which the black body is celebrated.”

See? Beautiful.

*bio photo by @timberhousefilms. Thx to Clare Celeste for pointing me to Marryam’s work.

debra broz

Ahhh, the super weird and wonderful work of LA based artist Debra Broz. I’ve written about her before and – fun fact – that duck-dog up there is a result of Debra being on my podcast five years ago! Yep, after we recorded, I sent her that dog head from a thrift shop in my town, and she turned it into art! Some of her mix-mashed critters are part of an upcoming group show, titled “Salvage” at Paradigm Gallery + Studio {Philadelphia}, curated by Christopher Jobson, the editor of the fabulous arts & culture site Colossal. Here’s the statement for “Salvage”:

“In a culture awash in disposable objects and materiality, it is seemingly impossible to determine what has finally outlived its usefulness or nostalgic pull only to be relegated to storage, the thrift store, or finally, the landfill. This faded sentiment is just the beginning of the journey for this group of four artists who use their abilities to miraculously salvage fragments of tradition and culture that were destined to be lost, relegated to the periphery, or buried forever.”

There’s a virtual opening and live Curator and artist Q&A on Friday, January 22, 2021 • 5:30pm EST Tickets available, RIGHT HERE.

claudia bueno

What began as an artist residency at Yellowstone National Park, is now a stunning installation in Las Vegas! What?! Yes… WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE {by Adolfo Bueno}. Colossal shared it the other day, and it’s fabulous. Ahhh, so many glass panels, layers and layers of hand-drawn animations, and light all working together to transport the viewer to an imaginary, macro/micro world. This is the work of Venezuelan born, US based artist Claudia Bueno… and this insanity, titled “Pulse”, is her latest installation. Here is part of Claudia’s artist statement:

Through her own intricate process of immersive suggestion Claudia creates large scale, multi-sensory light installations that communicate a profound sense of wonderment and awe. Designed to guide spectators on a contemplative journey these hypnotic worlds are populated by signatures of life from micro to macro, existing in communion and living as one interconnected cosmic web. Fluidly pulsating colors and ever evolving sounds make the creations come all the more alive.

Wonderment and awe, indeed! “Pulse” is installed at Meow Wolf, Las Vegas.

renee nixon

Found images ‘n embroidery… one of my most favorite combinations! Also one of my favorite things… work that focuses on empowering women. This is an ongoing series by Seattle based artist Renee Nixon titled “Recombombulated”. Here are her words about this project, and how you can purchase a piece:

“These ladies are, quite literally, my attempt to work through harm done to myself (and so many others) by callous, entitled, powerful men. They are also a direct representation of the work we have done, and continue to do, to stitch our lives and ourselves back together. There is no going back, but perhaps there is a new kind of beauty in the strength to move forward.”

So powerful. Now, if you’re thinking you’d like to buy one…  “I’ve had offers to buy some of my ladies, but it felt a bit like a betrayal to sell something so intrinsically tied to myself and my experience. Instead, I’ve decided to gift them in exchange for a donation to the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, or something similar in your local area if you don’t live in Seattle. There’s no minimum donation, but I do hope that you’ll give (very) generously. Just tell me you donated today (or any future day), and I will send you a lady. Requests for specific ladies will be honored on a first-come, first-serve basis.” Amazing.

jean shin

Bits of Mountain Dew bottles take over the landscape in “Invasives”, and hang like a glowing chandelier in “Floating Maize”. Oh my, yes, this is my kind of recycling program! These are just two of many installations by New York based artist Jean Shin. I happen to love these two works, but her materials certainly are not limited to green beverages! …

Jean Shin is nationally recognized for her monumental installations that transform everyday objects into elegant expressions of identity and community. For each project, she amasses vast collections of a particular object—prescription pill bottles, sports trophies, sweaters—which are often sourced through donations from individuals in a participating community. These intimate objects then become the materials for her conceptually rich sculptures, videos and site-specific installations. Distinguished by her meticulous, labor-intensive process, and her engagement of community, Shin’s arresting installations reflect individuals’ personal lives as well as collective issues that we face as a society.

Follow her on Instagram to see what she’s up to, in progress shots, how to make dumplings, etc. Note: Jean’s dog, Trevor, was not officially part of the work… but he is a very cute photo-bomber!

rebecca hutchinson

Gasp! Hanging from the ceiling, lying on the floor, mounted on the wall… these gorgeous cone-like blooms are everywhere! Now, what are we looking at here? I have no idea. Well, I have some idea. There’s paper handmade using recycled materials (like old clothes!?), porcelain – both fire and unfired, and handmade paper coated in porcelain… maybe? Okay, I’m not totally sure, so that’s why I’ve invited Massachusetts based artist and educator, Rebecca Hutchinson, to come on my podcast to us her story AND how she does what she does! Until then, I’ll leave you with her artist statement:

“In nature there are diverse states of existence; the structure of nature, interactions between forces of nature, the resilience and the complexity of engineering in nature. All these states are rooted in the motivation for the need to survive, providing endless visual influences and conceptual possibilities for art making; speaking to the depth and complexity of living with the hopes of revealing the human condition in sculptural form.

Using diverse processes, my interest is in quality of craft, connections, structure, and conceptually to all physical parts to the whole. I build site-responsive sculptural works made from clay and recycled materials, like old clothing or industrial surplus. I hand build, slip trail, dip, layer, cut and construct with the surplus and handmade materials. Works are influenced by growth patterns, but do not replicate nature. Like an animal that uses the vernacular from place, I too up-cycle humble materials into exquisite sculptural forms.”

Yes, this is going to be a very interesting episode… So. Many. Questions! Stay tuned.

antonio santin

Oil. Paintings. Would you like a moment to catch your breath? This some of the most recent exquisite, meticulous, jaw-dropping work of Madrid based painter Antonio Santin. I had to include the closeups, and the extra extra closeups so all of the insane details could be seen. I can’t even imagine how long you’d have to stand in front of one of these beauties to take it all in. Color, texture, details (look at those little green birds!). Stunning. Here’s some insight into his practice:

Deeply rooted in the tradition of Spanish Tenebrism as well as his own training as a sculptor, Santin juxtaposes flattened planes with tangible forms carved by light and shadow to create a continuous perceptual dialogue in each work. The rug series evolved from his ongoing interest in the opacity of fabric as a device to obscure with abstract patterns and textures.

Antonio has a solo show opening this week, January 14th – March 5th at Galerie Isa in Mumbai, India.