Gallery: JPS Gallery
Artist(s): Joe Cheetham
Opening / Event Date: 15 Nov, 2023
Closing / End Date: 9 Dec, 2024
Debbie Reda: Masters
30 November – 20 January 2024
Whitestone Gallery H Queen’s
(30 November 2023, Hong Kong) Whitestone Gallery is delighted to present Masters, a solo exhibition showcasing works by the esteemed artist Debbie Reda. The exhibition showcases Reda’s unique artistic vision, which draws inspiration from art history while infusing it with her distinctive humor and irony. Reda embarks on a journey through art history, paying homage to influential artists and artworks that have shaped her creative journey. With great reverence for those who have made significant contributions to the art world, Reda’s selection reflects her deep admiration for masters who have left an indelible mark on the artistic landscape. Visitors to the exhibition will experience a delightful fusion of classic art references and whimsical reinterpretations, as if stepping into a room filled with unexpected surprises.
For Reda, the term “Masters” extends beyond the creators of masterpieces; it encompasses those who have taught invaluable lessons and provided guidance throughout her artistic journey. A master can be someone who offers wisdom, guidance, or advice that shapes one’s entire life. It includes those who find solace and harmony in nature and possess the ability to be at peace with themselves. Masters are individuals who radiate happiness and remind us of the beauty of simplicity. They are the ones who have left an indelible mark on us and whom we hold in high regard and admiration. Reda’s personal examples of masters include her mother, who encouraged her artistic expression from a young age by allowing her to freely paint the walls at home, and her grandfather, who nurtured her imagination through collaborative collage projects, even though his own interests leaned towards soccer players due to his admiration for Maradona. Reda’s personal journey as an artist is interwoven with her own experiences and the influence of those who have guided and inspired her. She acknowledges the significant impact of these mentors and their teachings.
“I’d like for the audience to be deeply influenced by the optimism and joy that I strive to convey through my artwork. It is my constant endeavor to establish a certain sense of camaraderie with the viewers. I aspire for my artwork to evoke a complicated smile, one that effortlessly transports them to their own memories, desires, and the innocence of their childhood.”
– Debbie Reda
Reda’s artistic journey is deeply influenced by her personal experiences and the mentors who have guided and inspired her along the way. She views the concept of “masters” not only as historical figures but also as individuals who have played a significant role in shaping her artistic development. In her earlier series “Lessons Learned,” Reda explored the theme of mentorship and the transformative impact of guidance and support.
Through her whimsical illustrations and storytelling, she celebrated the invaluable lessons imparted by influential figures in her life. This spirit of gratitude and acknowledgement of the people who have shaped her artistic identity permeates the “Masters” exhibition, where Reda’s tribute extends beyond the art world to include family members, friends, and mentors who have left an indelible mark on her creative journey. By highlighting these personal connections, Reda invites viewers to reflect on their own sources of inspiration and the profound influence that mentors can have on one’s artistic path.
Among the carefully curated references showcased in the exhibition are nods to Picasso’s lesser-known but profoundly introspective “Blue Period,” Yoshitomo Nara’s illustrated wisdom, Manet’s iconic “Lunch on the Grass,” Matisse’s vibrant masterpiece “The Dance,” and Van Gogh’s ethereal “The Starry Night.” Reda also incorporates the dynamic lines and graffiti-inspired elements of Keith Haring, Cy Twombly, and Günther Förg, as well as iconic elements from contemporary artists such as Kaws, Koons, Murakami and Kusama. Through her art, Reda pays tribute to revered masters she admires and longs to have met in person.
Taking a record of the influence of Art Brut, drawing and painting as a child, the phenomenon of repetition appears in Debbie’s abstract work citing repetition exercises when one learned to draw as a kid. Her Monster Collection is her Figurative Series that defines her cartoonish visual style as a Childlike Neo-pop Art. The characters reflect humor and irony, different moods and circumstances of everyday life.
“These monsters came to Earth on an expedition and were captivated by our planet. They studied human beings with great curiosity, as if experiencing the world for the very first time, and transformed themselves into children. Working alongside these mischievous monsters, they have become my alter ego, sometimes expressing themselves through drawings and even interrupting my creative process. As a result, my artwork showcases a blend of childlike strokes and realistic details. The monsters, who have ventured onto Earth, delight in their exploration of this new realm.”
– Debbie Reda
This exhibition celebrates the intersections of art, inspiration, and personal growth. Through her unique artistic vision and creative prowess, Reda invites viewers to embark on an artistic journey that transcends boundaries and creates a profound connection between the past and the present.
Exhibition period: 30 November – 20 January 2024
Opening reception: 4 – 7pm, 30 November (Thursday)
Artist Guided Tour: 5pm, 30 November (Thursday)
Whitestone Gallery is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am to 7 pm
(Sunday by appointment only, closed on Monday and public holidays)
For further enquiries, please contact:
+852 2523 8001