Deborah Bay is a Houston artist who specializes in constructed studio photography. She has exhibited most recently at Photo London Digital 2020, Foto Relevance (Houston), Texas Contemporary 2018 and 2019 and Photoville Brooklyn. Her work is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona in Tucson and Dorsky Museum of Art at State University of New York at New Paltz. LensCulture and the Griffin Museum of Photography highlighted images from her Traveling Light series in on-line features earlier this year, and the British Journal of Photography has published her work on its cover. Her work was recognized in the Texas National 2018, and she was a finalist for Artadia Houston 2015. An active member of the Houston arts community, she has served on the board of the Houston Center for Photography and its Advisory Council. She holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from The University of Texas at Austin.
My work explores the beauty of light and color. It builds on a studio practice that has focused for the past 15 years on constructed, macro photography. The images in the work presented here bring together an eclectic set of influences, ranging from geometric constructivism to color field. After collecting an assortment of prisms and lenses, I became interested in capturing how light and color interact with optical materials - seeming to bounce nonchalantly across surfaces, yet strictly bound by the laws of physics. Lenses and prisms were layered and stacked at angles to capture light wrapping around form. Chromatic geometries emerged from the planes and lines of color created using film gels. In my practice the camera often is a tool for highlighting details of physical phenomena that are overlooked or not easily observed. Particularly intriguing is the mystery created by the juxtaposition of scale - making close-up images of small objects and showing them as prints at many times their actual size. The images were produced in-camera and follow in the lineage of experimental studies exploring the most elemental components of photographic processes: light and lenses.