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©2019 Deborah Dixon

Artist Statement

My art brings women of all sizes and those who appreciate them out of the closet.  I draw, paint, and sculpt full-figured females as a way of self-healing, rebellion, and to make a social statement that all bodies are amazing, beautiful, and a miracle.  Many of the women in my work are doing things that I and others in society  considered taboo for years.  The guilt, the self-hate, the self-shaming that circumscribed my world and art, began to fall away in the early 80's when I discovered the magazine "The Big Beautiful Woman" (BBW) and the French ex-patriot, turn of the 20th century, artist Gaston LaChaise. 

Gaston LaChaise women inspired me and freed my mind enough to dare to think that big could be beautiful.  In learning to draw the human figure,  I studied old masters such as Davinci and Rubens  as well as more contemporary artists like Rico Le Brun and Niki Saint Phalle. Elizabeth Catlett and Alice Neely have also influenced my work.  As a teenager growing up in a small, conservative town in southwest Ohio, I worked with what visual resources I could.  These  were often Marvel and DC comics as well as Playboy, Hustler, Esquire magazines, hence the sensual influence and love of big, bold, bright colors such red and blue. The females on the pages of Playboy appeared comfortable in their bodies and with their sexual powers.  This attitude intrigued me.  There was a raw sensuousness in those women that I internalized while drawing them. It is that rawness and sexuality that gives my work its certain "funk" and earthiness. Superwoman, Wonder Woman, and Cat Woman are reflected in my color choices and imbue my women with a larger than life profile.  They are doers, changing and transforming the negative into positive; they are not victims, and actively refused such roles.  My females have large bellies and hips to symbolize the power of creation.  Many of these women don't have facial features - I choose this to remind the viewer of the symbols and archetypes of strong feminine principles.  Drawing females has helped me to heal and understand that mystery that is me.  My learning and acceptance still continues as I discover those dark, unexposed fallacies that cloud my acceptance and understanding of myself.  Painting and sculpting them has helped me discover and own my feminine power.  Today, I believe there is nothing more beautiful than the human body, whether it is female, male, transsexual, or intersex.  All are amazing and a reflection of the myriad of forms that the cosmic assumes.

Deborah