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artist statement

You know that moment in every Broadway musical when the characters can’t help but burst into song and dance? That’s what I hope to capture in my paintings. 


I see the canvas as a stage for the theater of everyday life – a space where anything is possible. Where any ordinary task can become a dance, a moment of transformation.


Like a live performance, my work is intended to connect intimately and emotionally with the audience. It is a vivid mix of expressive movement and spontaneous action, often involving the props that make up our daily lives. I enjoy sprinkling my paintings with visual puns, subtle humor and references to nostalgic pop culture – all of which are open to the viewer’s interpretation. I mix from a primary color palette, infusing my brushstrokes with the same sense of movement that defines my themes and subjects. 


My hope is that my art can touch the part of the human spirit that ignites joy, lightheartedness, and empowerment – those moments when words just don’t cut it, but a gesture says it all.  


Debra Deutsch Oliver (b. on the last day of 1963) is a fine artist whose paintings have been exhibited in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and in Chicago, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz, USA. Originally from Chicago Illinois, Debra received a BFA in Studio Art from The University of Texas at Austin (1986) and earned her art education certification from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago (1999). She taught art in the Chicago Public Schools for twenty years, where she was committed to inspiring creativity and building confidence in her students through multimedia art, painting, and sculpture. 


Debra retired in 2019 and for the first time in her life felt she had permission with all of the time and space to create a routine around her art. In 2020 when lockdown began, she began using her house as the stage and friends, family, and herself as the actors/subjects. 


In 2023 she moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where the people, culture, landscapes, and architecture inspire her daily. She has had two solo shows, numerous group shows, and is proud to be a member of Galeria Blue Moon in San Miguel. 


A lifelong dancer and mover, Debra infuses her visual art with kinesthetic energy and performance. She loves to capture those moments in movement when one's mind goes quiet and there is a sense of joy; empowered and uninhibited.

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