Deborah Liljegren Meet

Deborah Liljegren

Peekskill, NY

About Deborah Liljegren

Peekskill, NY

For a long time, Deb referred to herself as a photographer rather than as an artist. She did this because the majority of her work was done in the photographic medium and her camera had been, in many ways, her champion.

She grew up with cameras, films, and the other photography accouterments being as normal to her as baseballs or dolls were to other kids. She learned to take what was there, what was real — the light, the dark, the mood, the balance, the air — and translate it through the lens. Having a deep affinity for water, she merged these two passions and began creating underwater work. In the water, everything that we know goes away — noise, gravity, perceptions — there is tremendous peace and it allows Deb to create visual enigmas that calm rather than confuse.

Even with this devout love of photography, Deb had always worked in other media. Yet it felt false to her to present this other art because she had been subscribing to an unwritten rule that dictated that she could only be a photographer, only be a painter, or only some other type of artist. As soon as she let go of this rule, she says that she started to delve into "what makes me, me."

For as much as she is exploring inward and striving forward, she looks backward as well. History plays greatly into who she is and where she will go and it has inspired Deb to revive a classic role of an artist, that of a painter. She wants to forge something more than just an image; she wants her paintings to continually morph. That which we actually see is an interpretation — the viewer’s — and that changes with each person, lighting, environment, and more.

What continues to result from this self-exploration is a body of work that strolls different avenues of creativity while applying equally different media. In many ways, Deb's work seems like the work of multiple artists … or perhaps multiple personalities. "There is no rule that says that I am allowed only one personality. I could not abide such a limitation. After all, I am an artist."

Deb was the 2018 and inaugural winner of the St. Barth Photo Festival.

Visit the artist’s site

Other works by Deborah Liljegren

Selected Exhibitions

  • Eostre
    New York, NY, 2017
  • UForge Gallery
    Boston, MA, 2016
  • Sragow Gallery
    New York, NY, 2013
  • Affordable Art Fair
    New York, NY, 2013
  • New Century Artists
    New York, NY, 2010

Press and Accolades

  • "We'd been collecting art and antiques for more than 30 years when we saw Deb's "Sunrise on the Reef" at a gallery opening in New York. We rarely added photographs to our collection and when we did so, it was with pieces that were produced decades ago. With this piece though, we couldn't resist. We bought our first contemporary photograph. Of course, now we want more." - Private collector, Boston, Massachusetts
    November 2010
  • "I add one new piece to my small, but growing collection each year. I hadn't even begun to look for a new piece when I literally walked by Deb holding a painting while on the sidewalk. She was getting ready to go over to a gallery to hang her show. I fell in love with the painting she was holding and added it to my collection right then and there" - Private collector, NYC
    April 2010
  • Grand Prix Winner at St. Barth Photo Festival
    August 2018


  • University of Massachusetts, Bachelor of Art
    Amherst, Massachusetts,1995 
  • Université de Rouen, 1e, 2e, and 3e degrees
    Rouen, France,1994 
  • Columbia Business School, Small Business Intensive Education Program

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