These are the collected figurative paintings of Debbie Moore, which follow a 35-year span, and illustrate various emphases in her life. Through paint, Debbie celebrates the beauty of loved ones, explodes the boundary between innocent play and sexual taboo, and explores definitions of human body in connection to nature.
In the 1970s the paintings are cartoon-styled portrayals of close friends, depicted in affectionate repose and sometimes empowered with superhero qualities. Debbie's nude portraits celebrate inner beauty and evoke paradise through the use of luminous and abundant color, applied in spacious, flat planes or vivacious, "German Expressionist" style.
In the 1980s and 1990s characters are placed in specific contexts that explore the theme of group love, through exposing forbidden views of body, innocent gestures and erotic secrecy. Collections such as the erotic series, the Annie Sprinkle series, group murals and doll head paintings place the nude in various situations that reveal counter-cultural viewpoints. Modern sex symbols lie next to Titian's Venus, or smile coyly in cat-woman style, celebrating, while pushing the boundaries of sensual visibility in art and society.
In the 2000 series body parts and other phenomena of nature become displaced and re-assembled to "read" like symbols in an original visual language. It starts with the "Lorax protest" where nudes take mythic form to emphasize the destruction of nature, and ends with "metamorphosis" where love is described entirely by body parts set in unusual juxtaposition. The series explores a spectrum from representational to non-representational and makes that continuum a playground. Here, an eye placed on a navel, or lips spread out across breasts bring body function into question, and suggests alternative body senses. As in the spread of Tarot cards, this series attempts to say more about human nature and potential through a visual reading made up of linked and re-shuffled symbols.
From 2001-2004 the new vocabulary of "symbolic-natural-phenomena" mingles with a serious focus on portraiture. The previous mythic or superhero status of Debbie's 1970s nude portraiture reappears to interact with "symbolic-natural-phenomena" in ecstatic, life-affirming statements. Such scenes as "group body arches", "Luna Goddess" and "totem tantric" take human interaction from seduction into elemental explosion, making description of profound but nameless human interactions possible.
Finally, entering into 2005, the "floral-figurative" collage series, floats flowers over, under and merged within reclining nudes, while palettes change with the seasons. Here, elements of human beauty blossom through flesh and flower petal alike as faces achieve the luminosity of silk, flowers tantalize with curvaceous verve. Stems trace chakras, leaves shape ears and petals crown heads, putting body presence into floral form. Humans reflect the tenderness and vulnerability of flowers, while flowers exude the dynamic and potent beauty of flesh. Nudes that once lay upon flowers and leaves have now become completely immersed in and inseparable from them, celebrating their oneness emphatically.
Text and all images Copyright 1969-2005 by Debbie Moore|
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