Debora Cheyenne Cruchon's digital paintings explore childhood, ancestry and spirituality

19 March 2019

At once dark and bold, multi-disciplinary artist Debora Cheyenne Cruchon’s new series, Soft Strobe , explores her childhood environment and her ancestry, as well as traditions and spirituality. “I wanted to focus on the suburbs of Paris where my family currently lives and my Reunionese background,” she tells It’s Nice That. “Being so far from home, I have often felt disconnected with those very elementary things that gives someone stability and grounding.”

Leaving Paris some years ago to find a new artistic career in Los Angeles, Debora now works as an art director for production company, Buck, and is pursuing fine arts in her spare time. Whilst she longs for the security of home, it was her fascination for new technologies and the visuals that derive from them that attracted her to the west coast of America. It’s an interest that has lead to a development in her perspective of black art too: “Putting those different parts together has brought me to reflect on Afrofuturism and the place I and other people of colour have in the art world, in a way that is about claiming representation in connection to the future of visual imagery.”


Debora Cheyenne Cruchon, Soft Strobe: Pacific 231

These notions are evident in her new series of digital paintings, which revolve primarily around black figures that are depicted in an expressionist nature. Inhabiting mysterious, ethereal worlds, her characters appear to engage ritualistically with their surroundings, though the finer points of these activities are not obvious to the viewer. “I have been really inspired by 3D art and virtual environments recently, and I had been wanting to experiment with the intensity and vibrancy of colour that digital tools can offer,” Debora explains. “I painted all of these in Photoshop because I was tired with traditional painting and had been questioning myself about the value that is given to traditional art over digital art, which at times feels a little ridiculous to me.”

But, looking forward, Debora says she wants to combine both analogue and digital disciplines to create her dream artwork. Uniting all the mediums she has worked in and hopes to work in, including sculpture, video, painting, performance and sound, she aspires to make the ultimate installation. “It will be a big piece where I can actually bring people in so they can experience and interact with the art as a whole,” she says. “It’s a big dream, but it is my favourite one so far.”


Debora Cheyenne Cruchon, Soft Strobe: Racines


Debora Cheyenne Cruchon, Soft Strobe: Peach Stasis


Debora Cheyenne Cruchon, Soft Strobe: Voile


Debora Cheyenne Cruchon, Soft Strobe: Caresse


Debora Cheyenne Cruchon, Soft Strobe: Magnetic Feast


Debora Cheyenne Cruchon, Soft Strobe: Fracas


Debora Cheyenne Cruchon, Soft Strobe: Cosmic Ballet

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About the Author

Daniel Milroy Maher

Daniel joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in February 2019 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. He graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Journalism in 2015. He is also co-founder and editor of SWIM, an annual art and photography publication.

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