• Peggy Nichols

Artist's Post -- Debbie Korbel

Artist Statement

Everyone knows what it is like to lie on their back and “see” images in the clouds. When I was a child, I would see images not only in the clouds but in many circumstances. The random patterns of linoleum flooring, plaster ceilings or even the way shadows fell across a wall would suggest figures or landscapes to me. As an adult, I approach my sculpture materials the same way by standing back and looking for what I “see” emerge.

I create my assemblage sculptures by using the original sculpted elements combined with an assortment of objects I have collected. Often the initial impetus for the sculpture occurs when I find some interesting fragment of metal or wood. Then an idea takes root and evolves from that “catalyst” piece. Every sculpture is like a puzzle for which I find and fit each seemingly unrelated piece together in its most expressive form in order to create something new.


Debbie Korbel is an award-winning artist whose creativity has been applied to various media including painting and sculpture as well as writing television scripts, short-stories and song lyrics. Her sculptures have been exhibited and collected internationally and appeared in movie and television shows.

“Humor, love, beauty, vulnerability, heartbreak— If I can get you to see or feel emotion from something I have created, then I have succeeded in making that human connection. We are no longer strangers; we are of like mind—if even just for a few moments.”

She is thrilled to include Steven Tyler, of Aerosmith, as one of her collectors. In 2013, her work received awards in the Spring and Winter issues of Creative Quarterly Magazine. She has been the subject of newspaper and magazine articles, including : The Pasadena Independent, The Monrovia Weekly, and The Arcadia Weekly. She has also been featured in the October 2018 issue of Beautiful Bizarre magazine and Diversions LA magazine and 2019 in Art & Cake Magazine. In 2020 she was featured in American Art Collector and Western Art and Architecture magazine.

Also, in 2018, she won a coveted spot in a global open call, exhibiting in a public art program run by The Garment District Alliance of New York City. Her art was featured on a banner in Times Square. In 2019 Korbel won 2nd place out of over 1900 entries in the Crocker-Kingsley Museum Annual Exhibition at Blue Line Arts. In 2019 she won 1st place in “The Modern Man” show at Bowersock Gallery in Provincetown, MA., and 2nd place in the annual all women art competition in Light, Space & Time magazine.

In 2020, she is slated to show more of her work including a solo exhibit at MOAH- Museum of Art & History, Lancaster, CA ; Riverside City College in Riverside, CA; Cal State Los Angeles; Oxnard City College, Oxnard, CA; Sparks Gallery in San Diego ,CA; and the Booth Museum in Cartersville, Georgia, as well as several college and independent gallery shows.

Korbel is a native Californian and works out of her studio in Los Angeles.


Youtube video of Korbel Sculpture

Recent exhibitions in Los Angeles include Gallery 825 and TAG Gallery “LA Open,” where her sculpture The Kiss was awarded second place. Korbel is a native Californian and works out of her studio in Los Angeles.

The Art of Conceptual Sensualist

Debbie Korbel


Mat Gleason

May 2020

Be it human, animal, vegetable or mineral, Debbie Korbel breathes life into her subjects as a sort of art goddess creating existence itself. In an art world where referring to the craft of an object can be seen as pejorative, Korbel’s work revels in its own triumph of the craftsperson behind it all. Little art these days honors its creator as thoroughly as Korbel’s studio output.

For all of its narrative qualities, the sculpture of Debbie Korbel carries with it an overriding commitment to sensuality. These rugged, skin-obsessed objects exude the urge to be touched as much or more as they beg to tell a story. Viewers can easily become entranced by the physical presence of the objects themselves and lose their way before the plot completely unfolds, much like life itself. In this regard they are more realistic than the hyper realism they approximate.

There is at the heart of Korbel’s art a lust for and celebration of all things contained in the flesh. Beyond that, the artist imbues her work with a frenzied energy that proudly bears evidence of its own construction. What anything here lacks in polish it more than makes up for in an emotional truth. The conceptual and the sensual are both privileged. Is art about thinking or about feeling? Korbel’s sculpture has the emotional resonance in its very presence but delivers a narrative layer to activate our gray matter too.

Every Debbie Korbel sculpture carries with it a distinct personality, fully-formed, pulling us in as the work weaves a tale in our imagination. Her people contain multitudes - of human foibles, passions and triumphs that we all carry. The artist taps into the universal connection of what it means to be human with an inspiring consistency. In an era where so many artists work to make objects with no connection to daily life, Korbel immerses the viewer in relatable scenarios amidst the mastery of her materials.

To view more works by Debbie, please visit her website at: