Debe Arlook: Foreseeable Cache
Debe Arlook’s surreal and complex images transcend traditional landscape photography by combining multiple in-camera exposures and a dynamic color palette. The resulting photographs are of otherworldly spaces resembling dreams more than the waking world. These sublime images are informed by her spiritual and meditative practice, which she began after the end of her 20 year marriage. Times of crisis can also be times of personal development and spiritual growth. For Arlook, her time spent in nature was a process of healing and opening up.
By combining multiple exposures, Arlook illustrates an internal and external dialog in which translucent veils reference external stimuli. These images function as portals between perceived reality and a meditative state where the spiritual and physical merge. Arlook intuitively creates each image following her instincts; her process is as important as the eventual outcome.
Upcoming exhibitions include 30 Over 50 at the Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO, Exhibition Lab Exhibition at Foley Gallery, New York, New York, Perceive Me at Mesa College Art Gallery, San Diego, CA
Foreseeable Cache is a conjured term for awaited memories.
At the end of my 20 year marriage with three teenagers to raise, I sought answers to the big existential questions and began a devoted path of personal development and spiritual growth. My studies, meditating and being in nature brought far more than solace. New perspectives on life and relationships surfaced and I began to see what I had not see before. This is when mindfulness and my awakened heart opened the soul’s portal for knowing to come through.
Made in the sublime landscape of the American West, this work is an exploration of transcendence and represents what meditation feels like to me. Surreal color blurs the line between reality and perception, creating an alternate world that merges physical and spiritual realms. Translucent veils represent the chattering mind and external noise experienced in meditation. Images portray a portal that invites a shift into and out of mindfulness. Pairing multiple in-camera exposures as a metaphor for the internal and external landscape, each image is a meditation. I was intuitively guided throughout the process of making this work, not knowing where the process would lead.
Debe Arlook is an American artist working in photography. Through color and diverse photographic processes, Arlook’s conceptual work is a response to her surroundings and the larger environment. Her projects depict the inner and outer worlds of human relationships, informed by her studies in filmmaking, psychology and spiritual practices.
Arlook is a two time Critical Mass Finalist 2021, 2020, recipient of the 16th Julia Margaret Cameron Award 2021: Digital Manipulation+Collage (Honorable Mention) & Motion (2nd Place), and a Photo LA Top 20 Finalist 2020. She exhibits nationally and internationally including the Lishui Art Museum (Lishui, China), Fotonostrum (Barcelona, Spain), Griffin Museum of Photography (Winchester, MA), Museum of Art & History (Lancaster, CA), Rick Wester Fine Art (New York, NY), Center for Photographic Art (Carmel, CA), Center for Fine Art Photography, (Fort Collins, CO), A.Smith Gallery, (Johnson City, TX), San Diego Art Institute (San Diego, CA), and Louis Stern Fine Art (Los Angeles, CA), amongst others. Arlook’s work has been featured in Fraction Magazine, L’Oeil de la Photographie, Rangefinder, Shots Magazine, What Will You Remember, Don’t Take Pictures, and One Twelve Publishing. Books include California Love, Perceive Me, and Emptiness Defined. Her work will be the focus of study at Universitè of Toulouse-Jean Juarès, France 2022, 2023.
In addition to her own studio practice, Arlook is a Pasadena Photography Arts Advisor and Curator for FORUM and Open Show Pasadena/East Los Angeles. She is also a Contributing Editor and Resource Manager for the PhotoBook Journal. In a transition from the darkroom to inkjet printing, she founded Arlook Printing Services in 2016, working with fine art photographers providing project consultation and archival printing. Arlook is set to teach at the Los Angeles Center of Photography this summer.
Arlook’s work is represented by Posner Fine Art (Los Angeles, CA) and Venice Institute of Contemporary Art (ViCA, Venice, CA). Her studio is in Santa Monica, CA.
Posts on Lenscratch may not be reproduced without the permission of the Lenscratch staff and the photographer.
I LOVE L.A.: Amanda Lopez: GuadalupeJanuary 24th, 2023
Julie Hamel: The Known UnknownJanuary 19th, 2023
Jessica Burko: Fractured & FoundDecember 21st, 2022
Germany Week: ELENA HELFRECHTDecember 5th, 2022
Contemporary Approaches in Historical Processes: Douglas Pierre BaulosNovember 30th, 2022