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 an emerging artist whose paintings have been exhibited in Chicago, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz. Her work includes commissioned portraits for the historic Armstrong Hotel in Fort Collins, CO, private collectors in Chicago, and more. In addition to working on her own fine art, she has directed many youth groups, as such a collective of young Chicago-based Gallery 37 artists who painted fiber-glass sculptures for CowParade, the world’s largest public art event.
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). As a high school art teacher in the Chicago Public Schools for twenty years, she was committed to inspiring creativity and building confidence in her students through art. She and her classes were selected for several special projects, including an 88-foot mosaic funded by the Oppenheimer Family Foundation and a mural for the Chicago Police Academy building. Many of her students received awards and scholarships through the All City Art Competition. Together, they left a lasting legacy of vibrant public art throughout the hallways of Carl Schurz High School, a Historic Landmark.
Debra currently lives in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico, where she is inspired daily by the beauty and culture that surrounds her. A lifelong dancer and mover, she infuses her visual art with kinesthetic energy and performance.