James Deeb


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James Deeb
About the author

I was born behind the wall of West Berlin in the mid-1960’s. My father was in the U.S. military and my family moved often. By the time I was three, we had left Berlin for Texas, with intervening stops in Indiana and California. Our next destination was to be Moscow, but everything changed with the sudden death of my father. My family settled in a small city in Indiana, to be close to my mother’s family. I remember drawing a lot as a child and making animated movies with lumpy clay dinosaurs. Although I had always been interested in art, I did not seriously study art until I went to college. I graduated from Indiana University at South Bend in 1988 and received an MFA from Western Michigan University in 1994. From the beginning my work has been melancholy to a varying degree. My father’s untimely passing, along with our semi-nomadic existence, left me acutely aware of the transitory nature of life at a very early age. And even though I enjoyed a fairly settled life afterward, it informs my art practice to this day. I am not alone. My work is part of a continuum that has its philosophical roots in texts like Friedrich Nietzsche’s ‘The Birth of Tragedy.’ It can be seen in the work of the German Expressionists and continues through the writings of authors like J.G. Ballard and Cormac McCarthy.