Debbie Korbel’s artwork is striking, evocative, and sexual. From the moment you enter her studio, you can see the hours of work and dedication put into her creations — but mostly, you take in the pure passion that Debbie has for her work. Debbie Korbel is an artist whose creativity has been applied to various media, including painting, and sculpture as well as writing television scripts, short stories, and song lyrics. Before sculpting, Debbie did Chinese brush painting, which is done with watercolors and particular types of brushes and brush strokes. After experimenting with various types of creative outlets, Korbel has managed to make a successful career from her sculptures. Her sculptures can be found at the fabulous Church Boutique in Los Angeles and have been exhibited and collected internationally. Many have also appeared in movies and television shows.
So, who is Debbie Korbel? In 2018, she won a coveted spot in a global open call, presenting in a public art program run by the Garment District Alliance of NYC. Her art (“Passionflower”) was featured on a banner in Times Square. In 2019, she was awarded 2nd place out of over 1,900 entries in the Crocker Kingsley Museum Annual Exhibition. For 2020, Korbel will be exhibiting her work at the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, CA. She has been featured in newspapers, magazines, and Stephen Tyler (Aerosmith) is a collector.
When Debbie Korbel had a break, she spoke with Gemma Magazine at her studio. We cannot emphasize how talented and kind she is.
What inspires you to create the sculptures that you do?
Well, I like to incorporate humor into my work, and I also like it when people are not easily offended. Creating sculptures is fun for me as well as a great creative outlet. It’s also a way to connect with others and make people laugh. If you don’t know someone very well, I’ve noticed that it can break down the facade.
What does creating art mean to you? I consider myself shy and a little introverted, like many artists. Creating art allows me to show a bit of my personality in a subtle manner. Also, again, it’s a wonderful way to connect with others. Since I enjoy what what I do so much, there is even a compulsive aspect to it — but it’s a healthy habit.
Do you ever get inspired by people when creating your sculptures? Yes, the sculpture I created for the upcoming, “Perceive Me” exhibit, is a portrait of artist/curator/lecturer, Kristine Schomaker. The exhibit examines the issue of body image. Kristine made herself the subject and engaged 60 artists to create nude portraits of how they “perceived“ her. My sculpture, entitled “Good as Hell” has wings and is 7” tall and will be hung on chains from the ceiling of the gallery. The title is an homage to the Lizzo song of the same name.
This show is slated to travel to several galleries across the state. The opening reception is January 25th, at Cal State Los Angeles.
Kristine’s “Perceive Me” project is not only an exploration of her personal journey of self-acceptance but a clarion bell for others to do the same. They don’t put your pant size on your tombstone—and there’s a reason for that. It’s not important.
What was your approach to creating the “Perceive Me” project? When I thought about how I wanted to portray Kristine, I wanted my sculpture to be one that showed her literally and metaphorically free from the weight of her appearance. I wanted my tangible representation of her to express the person I saw inside, to capture a moment where she was completely “unselfconscious.”
What materials do you use to create your sculptures? I also notice many are adorned with jewelry, etc. Do you do a lot of scouting?
Many of the components in my assemblage sculptures are found objects —basically things that would be considered trash or what is euphemistically called reclaimed or re-purposed materials, i.e. old car parts, discarded bits of machinery, wire, lamp parts, wood, copper, aluminum, steel, bone, glass etc. I am always on the lookout for usable materials, and my friends often gift me with the treasures they find as well. A finished sculpture is comprised of all of these different puzzle pieces.
If you are interested in seeing Debbie’s artwork in person, here are the dates and locations for her upcoming shows. Also, you can follow Debbie on social media at: https://www.facebook.com/Debbiegordonkorbel or Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/debbiekorbel/
Selected upcoming exhibits for 2020
January 25, 2020
Cal State Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, California 90032
“Art Pal Springs” art Fair
Feb 13th – Feb 17th
Palm Springs Convention Center
Brittany Davis Gallery
277 N Avenida Caballeros
Palm Springs, CA
“Cavalcade of Dreams”
March 5, 2020
Riverside City College
4800 Magnolia Ave
My work has been collected internationally, however, most of my gallery representation has been in California.