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Somewhere Between

Deborah Perlman

Hollywood, Florida

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South Florida artist Deborah Perlman is a graduate of Boston University (BFA, sculpture) and Cranbrook Academy of Art (MFA, sculpture). After graduate school, Perlman ventured into communications, enriching her creativity through travel and special assignments. Since dedicating herself to art full time, she has been featured in several art publications and her work has appeared in exhibitions nationwide, earning awards. Perlman’s work is held in private collections, and she is a member of regional and national professional artist organizations.


Influenced by her training, Perlman creates abstract wall-mounted sculpture. She invites viewers into her ‘almost-but-not-quite-real’ spaces which land somewhere between authentic and imaged, drawing them into the scene to discover where they find themselves.


Perlman is currently working with paper, wire mesh, wire, fabric, wood, plastic, and adhesive, and continually looks for new materials to integrate into each piece. Building three-dimensional forms, she adheres each element to the base, then juxtaposes them to highlight their points of contact and the shadows they cast. 


Inspiration for Perlman’s work comes from nature, architecture, the work of other contemporary artists, world events and personal life experiences. She aspires to keep her mind and spirit open to possibility and follow where the work takes her. 

Perlman’s influences span African sculpture; the Constructivism, Geometric Abstraction, and Cubism art movements; the work of Louise Nevelson; the ‘illogical perspective’ of Giorgio de Chirico and M.C. Escher; Joseph Cornell’s shadow boxes; and Frank Stella’s metal reliefs, among many others.




My abstract geometric wall sculptures blur the line between reality and imagination. Through the work, I challenge viewers to contemplate their place within this idiosyncratic world – a place that embraces life’s complexities and uncertainties as fundamental aspects of human existence. 


Logic bends and twists, reminding me that life is far from straightforward. It’s more like a nuanced landscape of compromise, questions, acceptance, mystery, and the unknown. I see it as a field of gray, punctuated by splashes of black and white. While gray may seem unassuming - even mundane - it is within this palette that my most profound life lessons have presented themselves. 


Using a variety of materials – paper, photographs, wood, plastic, metal, and wire mesh - I construct three-dimensional forms and adhere each element to its base. The juxtaposition of these forms -- casting shadows and highlighting contact points – enhances the intention for each piece.


The work serves as a visual metaphor for the issues that impact me.  From environmental concerns to global conflicts; from the quest for inner peace, happiness, and safety; to the jolting events that immediately alter my life’s course, each piece presents aspects of my life experience. 


When viewers consider my ‘almost-but-not-quite-real’ world – I challenge them to ask themselves: What is it? Where it is? What do I see and feel? And, do I find myself in it – or not?


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