The work of Georganne Deen is a veritable landscape of trauma. Projected through a lens of adolescence-one that amplifies the fears, insecurities, and longings of the human psyche to monumental proportions-the work represents a tireless exploration of personal history, memory, family, and depression. Her primary backdrop is one of suburban pubescence, one that seems to originate and complete itself in a frequently-repeated bedroom motif (a faithful reproduction of the room she shared with her sister as a child). The sense of entrapment, depression, intimacy, and fantasy that imbues this girlish room nourishes a motley cast of characters-family members, pop icons, Greek gods, and the artist herself-who appear variously in human, animal, insect, or vegetable guise, or any combination therein. Deen's mother, one of the most common characters and the subject of her series "Mother Load," appears in one painting as a shriveled tree (in the act of severing from herself the limb that carries a baby carriage), and in others as a thin-teated dog (shedding from one teat a spotlight that illuminates two fighting girls), an enormous spider with a skull for a head, and a twelve-breasted woman spilling milk from buckets at her side-many with the same grimacing face, the same menacing cigarette in the mouth, and all suffused with the need and resentment that define an alcoholic mother's presence.
In her paintings Georganne Deen dissects her most intimate family dramas. Rendered in a comic style, they mine emotionally charged materials and explore the dynamics of dysfunction with extraordinary honesty. Essays by Amy Gerstler and Michael Zakian.