Artbags: Our Relationship with Material Objects

Artbag is the brainchild of British artist Debra Franses Bean (DFB). These original resin sculptures, said to be around 15 kilos each, are filled with random objects including guns, money bills, Coca Cola bottles, sunglasses, makeup, pocket watches, or rusted keys… and more.

Through her unique art work, Debra explores 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.

She describes Artbag as  ‘a window into her soul’. Every bag designed is an original piece that is autobiographical. She visualizes how she felt about areas of her life, depending on the different phases of her life.

“Each and every one of my bags no matter if they are part of a collection or commissioned individually, are a distillation of who I have met, where I have been or what I witness in the world; because all interactions leave a trace in me which inspire my work,” says Debra.

Debra makes her sculptures horizontally in a mold and carefully pours up to 14 individual layers of resin each one with a carefully placed object inside. She takes her inspiration from changes in her interactions with the world which are influenced intimately by music, movies, media, memory, fashion, people, politics and other parts of contemporary culture which seep into her consciousness.

The idea for Artbag originated whilst the artist was studying at St Martins School of Art (2005), while working on one of her first casting projects undertaken as part of her degree, she adapted a beautiful, but rather impractical bag from a luxury couture house into a resin covered mold where a goldfish is preserved inside, as if it was caught in motion forever swimming.She graduated in 2005 in Fine Art Sculpture.

Since then she has exhibited widely in galleries in USA, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Venezuela and Asia. Her Work is held in the Coca Cola Museum in Atlanta and toured globally with the 100 years of the bottle alongside Ai WeiWei and Andy Warhol.

Her work represented by Cobra Art is available at Altus Lebanon.

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