An Innocent Wish Ruminating Forever｜"Make a wish" by Argentinean Artist Debbie Reda
Debbie Reda, an artist residing in Madrid, Spain, channels the profound motivations of desire and longing into her captivating pop art creations. The whimsical figures of children engrossed in play on her canvases depict an endearing scene. At the Whitestone Ginza New Gallery in Japan, visitors can immerse themselves in Reda's solo exhibition titled "Make a Wish" from May 18 to June 10, 2023. Throughout her body of work, Reda consistently explores the theme of extraterrestrial creatures exploring our planet. In an interview, the artist shares her reflections on her art and expresses her enthusiasm for her inaugural solo exhibition in Japan.
Pure and Innocent “Monsters” Exploring the Earth
Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Reda embarked on her artistic journey at a young age, starting her painting career within the fashion industry when she was just 17. In 2013, she marked a significant milestone by showcasing her inaugural solo exhibition in Argentina. Since then, Reda has dedicated herself to creating captivating paintings as an artist. Her notable "Monster" series, characterized by its whimsical and cartoonish visual style, has introduced a fresh approach to pop art, breaking free from the constraints of academic expression.
- The series is named "Monster." What characteristics and traits define these artworks?
Debbie: 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. They captivate us with their childlike innocence, while simultaneously embodying the desires shared by all of us.
- Could you tell us about the theme of this exhibition "Make a wish”?
Debbie: Wishes are an essential part of life. They help us set goals, stay focused, and work towards them. At some point, they ignite hope and become the driving force in our lives. When there's something we desire but seems out of reach, we strive to attain it through perseverance and effort.
Moreover, wishes are universal and transcend cultures and religions. I'm particularly drawn to the concept of the Japanese Daruma. Often, like children, people repeat things, wishes, or words without pausing to reflect on their true meaning. We will probably never know what Happiness itself is, but we want it and we know when we feel it. That's why I've named this exhibition "Make a wish," to invite the audience into this message. It's about setting intentions in life and infusing it with purpose and significance.
Debbie Reda “Make a wish” 2023
The monsters, having arrived on Earth, take on a childlike anthropomorphic form in the artworks. The pieces are adorned with motifs and words reminiscent of childhood, such as toys, drawings, and genuine emotions. Within the pictures, the characters, portrayed as monsters, acquire knowledge of the human world through one eye while objectively observing humans through the other, adorned with a ribbon.
What the Work Symbolizes
- The artworks presented in this exhibition predominantly feature drawings that do not incorporate the presence of "monsters".
Debbie: On this occasion I have made works of my abstract series that have to do with freedom, joy and play and the phenomenon of repetition that occurs in learning and in the coming and going of the pencil when coloring. I use the oil stick as a crayon as I used to use it when I was a child and without the intention of looking for perfection I spent hours coloring.
What is important in this exhibition is the presence of works in painting and drawings on paper that show objects without the presence of the character, giving more place to symbolism or the object of desire or desire itself. I find the exchange of cultures and traditions interesting. Surely there are many symbols that for the West mean one thing and for Japan another. This will somehow open a game with the viewer.
A Long Awaited Solo Exhibition in Japan
- What are your plans for the future?
Debbie: I have a lot of work and projects ahead of me. Currently, I am preparing for a group show in Paris, as well as participating in several Art Fairs. In addition, I am excited about my upcoming solo exhibition in Hong Kong, which will be hosted by Whitestone Gallery in November. Furthermore, I have been given the opportunity to showcase my artwork in a Museum located in Suzhou, China at the beginning of 2024.
Moreover, I am actively involved in developing a new limited edition of sculptures and art toys. With these creations, I aim to explore the combination of my figurative and abstract work, allowing my artwork to evolve and present a broader perspective. It's as if my "monsters," which can be seen as my alter ego, have come to life and taken control of the canvas.
- Lastly, do you have any remarks or messages you’d like to convey to the Japanese audiences?
Debbie: 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.
Reda's enchantment with culture of Japan began two years ago when she visited the country as a tourist. During our interview, she shared her heartfelt aspiration to hold a solo exhibition in Tokyo someday. Through her artworks, you can experience the same sense of longing that resides within her heart. Allow her works to evoke the desires that stir within your own heart, and feel a connection to the passion that led her to this moment.