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Deborah Simon
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Gowanus

ARTIST STATEMENT: My work walks the line between taxidermy, toy and sculpture. Each sculpture is meticulously fabricated to create an unnervingly accurate but slightly off version of the natural animal. Evolution has always held a particular fascination for me, informing how I create and group the animals in my work. As I’ve read and dug through museum collections to research my pieces, western science’s mania for labeling, codifying and collecting has stood out. More so, we categorize animals in two ways; scientifically and emotionally. Despite all of our effort to map out how life evolved, carefully defining orders and families, we still by and large judge animals by an irrational system of emotional morality. Most of all the sculptures deal with vulnerability. A stuffed bear is the enduring toy of childhood. The fierce predator declawed and defanged to become a child’s beloved friend and sense of security. The pieces explore the tension between the reality of the animal and the vulnerability imbued in toy; the wild and the tame, the beautiful and grotesque.

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School of Visual Arts, MFA, New York, NY, 1996 – 1998
San Francisco Art Institute, BFA Sculpture, San Francisco, CA, 1988 – 1992
Repin Institute of Art, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1991

Solo Exhibitions:

2014: Solo Show, Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, Utica NY
2013: Taxonomy, Packer Schopf, Chicago, IL
2011: LZ Project Space, New York, NY
2009: Roost, Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago, IL

Two and Three Person Shows:

2009: Viridis II, Marymount College, New York, NY

Selected Group Exhibitions:

Neo-Victorians, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY
Outbreak, National Museum of Natural History, The Smithsonian, Washington DC

Art Miami, Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami, FL
Dark and Stormy Night, Lehman College, Bronx, NY
Governor’s Island Art Fair, New York, NY
Art Aspen, Aspen, CO
Portal Art Fair, New York, NY

The Hunt-The Prey-The Spirit, Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, IN
Wassaic Project Summer Exhibition, Wassaic, NY
Resurrection!, Aron Packer Projects, Chicago, IL
The Animals, Paper City Studios, Holyoke, MA
Bird in Hand, Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CA
Methods of Collecting, Esther Klein Gallery, University City Science Center, Philadelphia, PA

HEY! modern art & pop culture ACT III, La Halle Saint Pierre, Paris, France
Art from the Boros III, Denise Bibro Fine Arts, New York, NY
What Does Art Add, City Without Walls, Newark, NJ
HOME, Distillery Gallery, Jersey City, NJ

Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program Open Studios, Brooklyn, NY
The Meek Shall Inherit, UMass Amherst, Amherst, MA
HOME, Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Appolonian/Dionyssian : the restraints of freedom, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, PA

Context/Art Miami, Packer Schopf Gallery, Miami, FL
ANIMATOPOÆA: A MOST PECULIAR (POST MODERN) BESTIARY, Galleries at Cleveland State University, OH

Creature, Gallery Project, Ann Arbor, MI
BoxoFFICE Projects, New York, NY

Governors Island Art Fair, New York, NY
A Live Animal, Root Division, San Francisco, CA

Animal Instinct, Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, WI
Creatures Great and Small, Yeiser Art Center, Paducah, KY
Coyote Pursues performed at Labapalooza!, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn, NY

D.U.M.B.O. Art Under the Bridge Festival, Brooklyn, NY
Once Upon a Time and Now, Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL
Creatures Great and Small, Eagle Art Gallery, Murray, KY
Seaworthy for Spring 09, Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Wild Life/Wildlife, Mt. Ida Gallery, Newton, MA
Studio Visit, Open Studio Press
Focus on Nature XI, New York State Museum, Albany, NY

Punchbowl, Metaphor Contemporary Art, New York, NY
Salad Bar, Magnolia Earth Center, Brooklyn, NY

Mad Cow: Absurdity and Anxiety in Contemporary Culture, NURTUREart, NY
Neubees, The Rider Project, New York, NY

2005: Animal Tales, DFN Gallery, New York, NY

Conceptual Realism, The Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Affordable Art Fair, Frey Norris Gallery, New York, NY
Frey Norris Gallery, San Francisco, CA
IV Centuries of Birds, Clarke Galleries, New York, NY
New American Paintings, Northeast Competition
Focus on Nature VIII, New York State Museum, Albany, NY

2003: REMIX, Metaphor Contemporary Art, New York, NY

Paper 2003, Metaphor Contemporary Art, New York, NY
The Art of Oil, The Lowe Gallery, New York, NY
20/02, The Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Small Works, 80 Washington Square East, New York, NY

2001: augustArt 2001, Rawspace, New York, NY

Wunderkammer: Wonderworks, The Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
New Jersey Center for Visual Arts International Juried Show, New Jersey Center for
Visual Arts, Summit, NJ

1999: The Passion/Passions of Art, Richard Anderson, New York, NY

Small Works, 80 Washington Square East, New York, NY
Thesis Show, SVA Visual Arts Gallery, New York, NY
Group Show, Westside Gallery, New York, NY

Lectures and Teaching Positions:

Mohawk Valley Community College, 2011, 2013
RUSH visiting teaching artist October 2008 - present
Marymount College, lecture October 2008
Opossum lecture for Fritz Haeg’s Animal Estates, Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum, 2008


Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program, 2013-2014
Sculpture Space, 2013
Sculpture Space, 2011
Vermont Studio Center, January 2003

Awards and Fellowships:

Nomination for Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, 2016
Cultural Space Subsidy Award, 2015-2017
Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, 2004
Partial Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center, 2003
Honorable Mention, New Jersey Center for Visual Arts International Juried Show,
Dan Cameron, juror, 2000
Jurors Award, Small Works, Ealan Wingate, juror, 1998
Merit Scholarships, School of Visual Arts, 1996, 1997
John and Earlene Taylor Scholarship for Figurative Sculpture, 1991


Steinhauer, “Passing Through Portal, an Unpretentious Art Fair in Soho”, Hyperallergic, May 3, 2017.
Smith, Andy, “Deborah Simon’s ‘Flayed’ Bears Reflect on Human, Animal Relationships”, Hi Fructose, March 17, 2017.
Richard, Anne, “Deborah Simon”, HEY! modern art & pop culture, 4 Degrees Art, Fall 2016
Marston-Reid, Linda, “’Appetite for Destruction’ shows artists’ scope”, Poughkeepsie Journal, September 7, 2016
Huang, Eric, “Bird in the Hand: A flurry of feathers”, The Stanford Daily, January 29, 2016
“HEY! Modern Art & Pop Culture/Act III”, The Trend Mix, September, 23, 2015
“HEY! Act III à la Halle Saint Pierre: géniale exposition!”, United States of Paris, September 18, 2015
“Halle Saint Pierre: rendez-vous pour l’Act III de la revue HEY!”, Les Nautes de Paris, September 24, 2015
Schwartz, Chip, “Painted Bride’s creative cacophony between reason and emotion”, Knight Arts,, October 7, 2014
Richard, Anne, “Deborah Simon”, HEY! modern art & pop culture, Issue #19, Fall 2014
Chalmers, Jamie, “The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Deborah Simon”, Mr X Stitch Contemporary embroidery & Needlecraft,, April 17, 2014
Gaio, Camila, “Com os órgãos expostos”, Casa Vogue Brazil,, January, 7, 2014
Pires, Kevin, “Deborah Simon’s Terrifyingly Realistic Sculptures of Bears”, Flavorwire,, December 17, 2013
“Staging Ground Interviews Deborah Simon”, Staging Ground Magazine, December 15, 2013
Azzarello, Nina, “deborah simon embroiders the furless anatomy of bears”,, December, 12, 2013
Gutierrez, Jene, “Deborah Simon’s Incredibly Realistic Sculptures Reveal Internal Systems of Bears”, Beautiful, December 13, 2013
Davis, Lauren, “Stuffed bear sculptures embroidered with anatomical designs”,, December 15, 2013
Gilbert, Cat, “An Interview with Deborah Simon”, 22 Magazine, May 18, 2011
Salas, Rafael Salas, “Review:’Animal Instincts’ at the Kohler”, Journal Interactive, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 29, 2010
Braun, Lauren, “Spotlight on…Deborah Simon”, Paper Tiger, May 25, 2011
Hewitt, Rachael M., “Roost”. Proximity. April 9, 2009
Weinberg, Lauren, “Deborah Simon, Roost”. Time Out Chicago. Issue 205, Jan 29
-Feb 4, 2009
Strange Closets, “Artist Spotlight…Deborah Simon at Packer Schopf Gallery”. January 19, 2009
Chicago Reader, Critic’s Pick. January 8, 2009
Reiger, Christopher. “Deborah Simon”. Hungry Hyaena, July 28, 2006.
Rosenfield Lafo, Rachel. Juror’s Comments. New American Paintings, Book #50 – 2004, Northeast Edition. Open Studio Press, Boston, MA. 2004
Cameron, Dan. Juror statement for International Juried Show 2000. New Jersey
Center for Visual Arts, Summit, NJ 2000
Bishoff, Dan. "Off-center humor pervades photo-heavy Summit show". The Sunday
Star-Ledger (February 13, 2000).

In Print:

Intergalactic, Single front and back cover, Beastie Boys, 1998
Hamster I – front cover
Hamster II – back cover

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