Debe Arlook

Debe Arlook (b. New Jersey) is a photographic artist and printer based in Los Angeles. Combining a B.A. in filmmaking, a minor in psychology (American University, Washington, D.C.), she explores her fascination of man’s frequent and distorted perception of reality. Early on, with respect for street and documentary photography, Debe worked in remote jungles of Nicaragua for United Cerebral Palsy documenting their expeditions.

Years later, after delving into spiritual psychology, her work shifted to conceptual and contemporary photography, altering the line between fact and fiction through landscape, abstract and surrealism. Each series reflects her fascination with communication, interpretation and self-awareness using subjects from domestic and urban landscape. Her work has been published internationally; exhibited at the San Diego Art Institute, the Annenberg Beach Community House, Louis Stern Fine Art, the Pacific Design Center, Photo Independent and numerous others.

Are you happy

Just do what I say

I set myself up well

Scene & Heard

There is no meaning but the meaning we create.

With a background in filmmaking and psychology, i’m fascinated by man’s frequent and distorted visual and cognitive perception of reality. Decisions and interpretations (“wrong” or “right”) are made based on the shoes we’ve walked in until that very moment. We’re often convinced we understand one other and communicated (or hidden) what we desired even when it isn’t so. Our shoes are different and impossible to switch having been shaped by unique experiences.

Scene & Heard has become a study of sorts, by playing with viewer perception and my own psyche in process of the making. I pair California desert landscapes of near-empty spaces, revealing faint traces of human interaction, with completely unrelated snippets conversation (the title of the photographs) overheard and collected in the city of angels. They are paired for the viewer to summon significance when there’s none to be had. New meaning is conjured to the image and new life to the bits of conversation removed from context. By combining the concept of reality with gentle lies inherent of photography, scene & heard demonstrates the everyday (mis)perceptions we often create.

Your lips are too red for lipstick

The fabulous Mr. Blake

I do the walk of shame at least every three months

West coast knows nothing about east coast

There is a beauty in the breakdown

Your concepts about yourself are wrong

I struggle being able to express myself

The girls in the Jewish home are looking

It was a complete mishap

Anybody want some time

I don’t know where he is but he’s gone

I’m just making people aware oh their surroundings

To view more of Debe’s work please visit her website.



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