DEBORAH ZLOTSKY



I draw and paint for the same reason I read a good novel: to find out what happens and to enjoy the complexity of that unraveling. When I begin a work, I start with something both accidental and familiar—a few colors, a few shapes or smears, a memory of a tangled pile of laundry or the way sunlight moved through my grandmother’s apartment. These initial colors and shapes start a process of discovering unintended proximities and relationships, of finding logic and meaning in the unique situation that emerges. For me, beauty is bound up with accumulation and time and the necessity of change.

Nature is always moving away from what seems enduring and recognizable, continually shifting away from what seems like a designated path. As I work, I rearrange and reassemble and make myriad adjustments. Eventually, the confusion of relationships slipping out of balance begins to create new structures and forms. In the paintings, accidents and change remain visible in each work. While the drawings may seem more seamless, the process is similar. In the drawing series, LifeLike, I manipulate powdered graphite on sheets of mylar through a process of drawing what I imagine I see as the velvety material is spread, painted, blown, erased, wiped and smudged. While the results are fictitious, the concreteness of the illusion I conjure up raises questions about what we identify as natural and credible. As I work, my process both brings me closer to and gives me distance from the friction between intention and coincidence, subtle forces which shape my understanding of being in the world.