Do you wear your heart on your sleeve—or display your wants on the shelf?
British artist Debra Franses creates resin sculptures in the form of transparent handbags, purses, and briefcases containing an array of symbolic items: lipstick tubes, a crystal-encrusted Chanel No. 5 eau de parfum bottle, a string of pearls and glittery ring, dollar bills and Bitcoin symbols, and sunglasses. With plenty of kitsch, the Artbags are a nod to Pop Art in a digital age and demonstrate a construct of how what we curate and display likewise curates and displays us.
In her works, Franses explores ideas that probe consumption and our intricate relationships with material objects, including as consumable fashion goods and as items that reflect our thoughts, loves, and ambitions.
Franses’ Artbags arrived last month and are being shown exclusively in Southwest Florida at East West Fine Art in Mercato. Because of their personal nature, they are frequently custom-ordered. Prices, ranging from $9,000 to $35,000, are dictated by style, size, and the value and number of designer objects inside.
“Every bag is a distillation of who Debra has met, where she has been, and what she has seen,” says gallery co-owner Leeza Arkhangelskaya.