Debra Franses Bean
Born in 1967 Debra Franses Bean has perfected her art for more than 15 years since attending London’s Central Saint Martin’s art school. Her background is in art, advertising, design, media and new technologies. The Artbag sculptures are kitsch transparent and highly seductive resin handbags containing assemblages of popular recognisable items such as dollar bills, toys, Coca Cola, Chanel make up, designer perfume, pocket watches, or rusted keys. She presents the viewer with a parody of commercial designer desirables and brands through hyper-real emulation. The elements of popular culture are referenced though pop art and post modernism's endeavours to embody these ideals. The relentless repetition of this handbag shape as a form and concept recognises the impact of the mass manufactured products that contribute to society's increasingly cluttered landscape of ‘stuff. This mixed with the aspirations and addictive pleasures associated with luxury brands, she acknowledges the complex relationship that we have with material objects as consumable goods – our penchant to consume and the ensuing guilt and anxiety that tends to follow. These handbags are commodities in and of themselves.
The plethora of items inside the bags are reproduced in resin, hand painted, some objects are bought readymades or acquired through social networking. Each bag is original and the artist rarely makes two sculptures the same.
The artbags come in three distinct sizes starting with:
The Petite which is 29 cm x 20 cm x 8 cm and weighs 2 kg
The Large which is 56 cm x 40cm x 16 cm weighs 15 kg
The Giant which weighs 120 kg and sits 108 cm high and 80 cm wide and 38 cm deep.
The artist also undertakes many commissions where she mixes clients personal items with her own selection thereby creating totally unique works of art. Her work is held in many international art collections, galleries and is in the Coca Cola museum in Atlanta USA
Debra Franses Bean offers us her artistic interpretation of the consumer society she witnesses, feeling and living it with her own sensitivity from both her personal and professional experience.