Deborah Perlman was born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and is currently based in South Florida. She is a graduate of Boston University (BFA, sculpture), Boston, MA, and Cranbrook Academy of Art (MFA, sculpture), Bloomfield Hills, MI. After graduate school, Perlman opted for a career in communications, enabling her to travel and use her art training in the corporate world.
Since she returned to making fine art full-time, she has exhibited her work throughout Florida and the U.S. Perlman has won several awards and appeared in art publications as a featured artist. In 2023, her work was juried into a New York gallery exhibit by a curator from the Museum of Modern Art, NY and she was selected for a solo exhibit at the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg, FL.
Influenced by her training, Perlman creates abstract, mixed-media wall-mounted sculptures interpreting the dynamics of three-dimensional form and space. Her ‘almost but not quite real’ world lands somewhere between authentic and imagined, sliding in and out of reality. She invites the viewer into the scene to discover where they find themselves.
Perlman uses a variety of materials, including paper, plastic, wood, metals, and photographs. After constructing three-dimensional forms, she adheres them to the base, juxtaposing them to highlight their points of contact and the shadows they cast.
Perlman’s influences include 19th and 20th-century African sculpture; the Constructivism, Geometric Abstraction, and Cubism (Picasso, Braque, Lipschitz) art movements; Giorgio de Chirico’s and M.C. Escher’s ‘illogical perspective’ works; Louise Nevelson’s bas relief works; Joseph Cornell’s shadow boxes; and Frank Stella’s metal reliefs, among others.
ENTER A WORLD SOMEWHERE BETWEEN REAL AND IMAGINED
Depicting an ‘almost-but-not-quite-real’ world somewhere between authentic and imagined, my art celebrates ambiguity, sliding in and out of reality, and compelling me to challenge previous ideas and established thoughts.
I find excitement and mystery in three-dimensional forms and spaces. Creating wall-mounted sculptures draws me in, challenging me to go beyond what I know and uncover what I don’t. It’s thrilling yet at times unsettling, continually bringing me new awareness and understanding. Simply put, the work frees my spirit.
My goal is to create spaces that challenge the senses, evoke emotion, and ask you to consider:
• What is it?
• Where is it?
• What do you see and feel?
• Do you find yourself in it, or not?
Inspiration has come from many personal experiences throughout the years. Recently, global issues such as climate change, prejudice, and divisiveness are finding their way into my work.
I’m currently working with paper, photographs, wire mesh, flat aluminum wire, wood, plastic, and adhesives, and continually looking for new materials to integrate into each piece. Building three-dimensional forms, I adhere each element to the base, then juxtapose them to highlight their points of contact and the shadows they cast.
I invite you to glimpse into my interpreted world and find your place within it.