Debra Franses-Bean


Born 1967, London Debra Franses Bean makes handbag sculptures that challenge the way handbags are traditionally portrayed as a closed and secretive intimate female space. Graduated from Central Saint Martin’s in London s he started ARTbag in New York in 2009.

Debra’s sculptures are kitsch resin handbags – with dollar bills, My Little Ponies, pocket watches, or rusted keys encased within them presenting the viewer with a parody of commercial designer desirables through hyper-real emulation.  

“My work takes its cue from the kitschy elements of popular culture, referencing both pop art and post modernism's endeavors to embody these ideals. The relentless repetition of this as a form and concept is replete with notions of the mass manufactured products that contribute to society's increasingly cluttered landscape of 'stuff'.  I explore ideas centered on consumption and mass production and acknowledge the complex relationship that we have with material objects as consumable goods – our penchant to consume is denigrated by the ensuing guilt and anxiety that tends to follow. These handbags are commodities in and of themselves. In as much as these works are a nod to pop art, they also allude to the digital age, as the very process by which the contents of these resin handbags are acquired is through online shopping and social networking”

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