Deborah Roberts’s Gripping Collages Reconfigure Black Girlhood

Deborah Roberts, We are Soldiers, 2019. © Deborah Roberts. Courtesy of the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. This Artsy feature by Jacqui Germain discusses the ways in which the collages of noted artist, Deborah Roberts, explores the history of Black women and girls in America. The artist speaks to how her own upbringing has influenced both her practice, and the particular vision that has come to be synonymous with her work.

“Roberts’s collage works can be better understood as a purposeful reconfiguring of Black girlhood. After all, how does a Black girl create a sense of self while being denied any kind of mirror or reflection in society at every turn? How does a Black girl begin to shape her identity in the midst of a country that values her parts more than her whole?”