Deb Cook Shapiro’s paintings explore fleeting emotions and memories. They aim to awaken feelings of joy, love, fear, insecurity, and heartache that define the human condition. In many paintings, her teen and young adult subjects act out their dramas against familiar backdrops such as beaches, parks and backyards. The timeframe of their settings and implied narrative is hard to pin down, like memory itself. The liberty of being outdoors in seemingly fair weather gives the young protagonists a sense of freedom and promise of escaping from quotidian cares. A sense of longing is a strong theme in the paintings, as though the artist is remembering scenes from her own youth that are infused into the present -day creation of work that addresses modern people. Her process begins by reviewing photographs, movie clips, or her own staged photoshoots. She uses these references as a springboard for the memories and feelings she will paint. The work is repeatedly painted, scraped and radically revised as the thoughts and memories take shape and change. Shapiro uses the clarity of her brushstrokes as a vehicle to imply the clarity of the memory depicted. The looser the stroke, the more faded the memory but never the feeling.
Deb Cook Shapiro lives and works in San Francisco, CA. She studied painting at the Istituto Lorenzo di Medici (Florence, Italy), Istituto per l’Arte e il Ristauro (Florence, Italy), the University of California ,Berkeley Post-Baccalaureate in Painting (San Francisco, CA), and studied painting at San Francisco Art Institute and Academy of Art College. Shapiro had solo exhibitions at the French Consul Residence, (San Francisco, CA), Ice House Gallery, (Petaluma, CA), and Summerhouse, (Mill Valley, CA). Her group shows have been at Palette gallery, The Office of the California State Senator , Scott Weiner, and 111 Minna Gallery. Her work is in domestic and international collections.