Debra Disman

Eat Your Young, 2020
Cardboard, jute cord and mixed media
15 x 45 inches

Artist Statement
I currently work in the form of the book, in forms inspired by the book, and in new sculptural media of my own devising. Although the work remains tethered to lose definitions of the book as structure, it is moving progressively into other sculptural and conceptual realms where labor, repetition and a passion for the haptic become powerful motivators and themes.  Achieving and remaining in a sense of flow where potential is infinite is mission critical to my working process.  It is also this state that I try to bring those that I work with into, for it is in this state of purity, openness and unlimited possibility where new levels of connection and meaning emerge, and purpose, knowledge, wisdom and direction are clarified.  Having worked in the realm of the built environment for many years I am fascinated by the parallels between books and buildings in terms of structure, meaning, utility, architecture and effect. Each creates public and private spaces where stories are “read” on many levels, often revealing more than their authors and makers ever intended. I try to create such places and spaces of inspiration, contemplation, realization and bafflement in my work and to instigate investigation, exploration and discovery in myself and others.

Debra Disman is a Los Angeles-based artist working primarily in the form of the book, both as a solo practitioner and in the public sphere of community engagement. As a maker and teaching artist she creates work and projects which push the boundaries of the book into new forms and materials. Disman was the featured artist for the Big Read in LA in 2016,
showing at the Mike Kelley Gallery at Beyond Baroque in Venice, CA; is the recipient of a WORD: Artist Grant / Bruce Geller Memorial Prize in 2016 to create “The Sheltering Book“, a life-sized book structure designed as a catalyst for community creativity; and was commissioned by LA’s Craft Contemporary Museum to create an interactive book for their 2017 exhibition, “Chapters: Book Arts in Southern California“. She was a Studio Resident at the Camera Obscura Art Lab at 1450 Ocean in Santa Monica in 2018, and has been awarded four Artist-in-Residence grants from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs since 2017 to work with the communities of Sunland-Tujunga and Granada Hills in LA.  She is a local Artist-In-Residence at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, CA