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Deborah Roberts Shines a Light on the Mistreatment of Black Girls


Deborah Roberts, The duty of disobedience, 2020, mixed media collage on canvas.

Image courtesy of The Contemporary, Austin. Photograph by Paul Bardagjy.

Deborah Roberts wants her audience to care for Black girls. In her new solo show — Deborah Roberts: I’m — at the Austin Contemporary, the artist uses text-based work and her renowned collages to present how Black girls are policed and disregarded in American society. In this feature for Frieze, Lise Ragbir shares her experience of viewing the show by this premier Texas artist. Speaking about her career trajectory, Roberts had this to say:

“When people weren’t watching me, I was watching them. Just because I wasn’t in the spotlight didn’t mean I wasn’t thinking, making, working hard. And in some ways, laying low – that silence – let me figure out what I wanted to say.” - Deborah Roberts
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