Deborah Luster is best known for her long-term documentary series, One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana (1998-2003 with poet C. D. Wright), a photographic archive of portraits of prisoners from three Louisiana prisons including the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola; and Tooth for an Eye: A Chorography of Violence in Orleans Parish (2008-2011), a photographic archive of cityscapes documenting locations in New Orleans where homicides have been committed. Both monographs were published by Twin Palms Publishing.
Luster’s awards include a 2018 Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship; a 2016 Robert Gardner Fellowship from the Peabody Museum; a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship; residencies at the Rauschenberg Residency and the Irish Museum of Modern Art; a Dorothea Lange—Paul Taylor Prize for Documentary Photography from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University (with C.D. Wright); an Anonymous Was a Woman Award; The John Guttman Award; the Bucksbaum Family Award for American Photography; and a Peter S. Reed Foundation Award.
Her work is included in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Smithsonian American Art Museum; New Orleans Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Pier 24, San Francisco; the Margulies Collection, Miami; and other notable public and private collections.
Deborah lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Galway, Ireland. Her work is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery.