Record of the Journey: Work by Deborah Benioff-Friedman

Deborah Benioff Friedman was selected as the GearBox Gallery Award winner of our 2017 juried exhibition, Bluets. Her work was featured in the Inner Room of the gallery March 22nd through April 21st, 2018.

Artist Statement: 
I am an artist and veterinarian living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I work with a variety of materials, including repurposed paper, cardboard and wire and more recently with mulberry paper in a Korean felting process known as Joomchi, creating pieces that reflect my attachment to that which is worn, well-used or discarded. 

I appreciate the contributions of time, weather, and friction to bring life and color to my art and often work with books (altered, distressed or curiously bound). I love the way a hand-made, or an old and much-thumbed book feels in the hands. Such evidence of handling, this patina, is most important to me: the worn page, the torn cover, creases, footnotes, doodles, wrinkles and stains. The wandering thread, a running stitch of tiny steps, tickmarks, an asemic calligraphy or text that helps to tell the story, finds its way into many of the objects I make.  

I am self-taught but have worked extensively with Lisa Kokin as well as other artists in California. My father, a sculptor and physician, imparted to me early, not only the importance of art in the world of medicine, but the joy of materials in my hands, whether clay, pencil, needle and thread, glue or paintbrush. His emphasis on simplicity, balance and the avoidance of artifice has informed the spirit of my practice.