Debbie Han: Here and Now
Ricco/Maresca Gallery is pleased to announce Here and Now, an exhibition of sculpture and photography by contemporary artist Debbie Han. This exhibition marks the artist’s first solo show with the gallery and will showcase works from the past ten years. As an artist, Han possesses both conceptual strength and visual power stemming from the laborious hands-on processes. Her use of multi-layered staging of paradoxical dualities within the theme of idealized female imagery investigates the issues of race, culture, identity, and perception in today’s pluralistic societies. The processes she utilizes consist of a wide spectrum of methodologies that include everything from appropriating classical images and craft techniques to cutting-edge photographic manipulation.
Han began creating her female figures in 2005 by combining photographs of women’s bodies with heads of classical sculptures. The surface of each figure is digitally transformed to create a marble-like texture and imposing sculptural presence. In her earlier black and white series “Graces,” female bodies are coupled with classical European goddess heads to create a sense of dissonance. The resulting images challenges stereotypical standardization of female beauty throughout high art to mass culture.
Han’s latest body of work ‘Color Graces’ is a color continuation of her ethnic/classical assimilations of multi-racial bodies juxtaposed with classical European heads. These images serve as an allegorical allusion to the dynamics and politics of global social relations. At the same time, the series transcends the diversities of the figures through powerful emotional drama. The exhibition will also include relief works from ‘Goddess of the World,’ bronze busts from ‘Terms of Beauty’ as well as black and white photographs from her “Graces” and “The Eye of Perception” series.
Debbie Han is a Korean-American artist who grew up in Los Angeles and received her B.A. in art from University of California, Los Angeles and MFA from Pratt Institute in New York. She was the winner of The Sovereign Asian Art Prize in 2009 and Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2007. Han’s works have been shown internationally, including fourteen solo exhibitions in the US, Korea, China, Germany, and Spain. She also participated in numerous group exhibitions in the US, Asia, and Europe, including exhibitions at Santa Barbara Museum in Santa Barbara, The Saatchi Gallery in London, Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, and the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul.