Deborah Barrett is a well known self-taught artist. She had lived and worked for several years in the San Francisco Bay Area, but now resides in New York.
Her work has been shown in New York, Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle, as well as in San Francisco, Mill Valley, Palo Alto and Berkeley.
She is a native of Michigan, majored in creative writing at Wayne State University, moved to the Bay Area in the early 80s, went to New York for several years, and finally came back to the Bay Area to stay in 1994.
Barrett began to make art as a child, creating toys for herself; she continued toy-making for her son when he was an infant. The toys led to stuffed figures which were shown in East Hampton, NY, and the work has evolved from there.
Much of Barrett’s work is figural, and elements of the early toys remain in the material she chooses for her collages and assemblages.
Barrett utilizes a wide variety of media: pencil, ink, paint, found paper, scraps of fabric and leather are hallmarks of her work, which is often on old journal pages.
She also uses wood, wire, wax and plaster to construct three dimensional figures of many sorts; an extension of her earlier doll-making, now turned into sculpture in which her sense of humor is always apparent.