Deborah Brown

A pioneer painter in Bushwick


After earning an undergraduate degree from Yale, painter Deborah Brown moved to New York to launch her career. Her wildly expressionist works have taken her from depictions of scrap heaps in Brooklyn to a form of comic portraiture riffing on the Old Masters to her most recent series of mythological figures. Brown talks to us about growing up in Washington, DC, studying at Yale, and showing at the Paris art fairs two weeks before the deadly attacks on that city.

Ten years ago, Brown was one of the important pioneers behind developing an art community–establishing studios and galleries–in Bushwick, part of the nether reaches of Brooklyn. After a few years in Manhattan, she was determined to found a supportive environment and has by and large succeeded. But now Bushwick is changing, and is the third-largest art neighborhood in New York. Will the influx of high-end galleries, restaurants, and stores destroy the original fabric of this unique neighborhood?


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