Desiree Holman

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Desiree Holman
EducationCalifornia College of the Arts
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
AwardsSECA Art Award

Desirée Holman (born 1974) is an American artist.

Education and career[edit]

Holman received her master's degree from the University of California, Berkeley and her Bachelor of Fine Arts from California College of the Arts. She was among the 2008 SECA Art Award winners from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art [1] as well as 2007 winner of the Artadia: Fund for Art and Dialogue award.[2] Holman's solo exhibitions include the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the Berkeley Art Museum’s MATRIX program. Holman’s work has been shown internationally at the Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art, Hessel Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, di Rosa,[3] Milan’s BnD, and Toronto’s YYZ. Her work is represented by Aspect/Ratio in Chicago, IL.[4]


Holman works across media in drawings, sculpture, photography and video. Her work often combines all of these in low-fi video productions that involve masks, costumes, and the choreography of multiple participants. Holman’s work is concerned with the performance of identity, alternative realities, and the relationship between self and other.[5]


In 2009, her work was shown in Los Angeles in the exhibition ‘Hammer Projects: Desirée Holman.’ Holman's project,‘Reborn,’ featured drawings, three-channel video installation and sculpture. The work was inspired by a subculture of women (primarily in the U.S. and Great Britain) called ‘reborners’ who care for incredibly lifelike baby dolls, bathing and feeding them as they would a real infant. Holman created her own realistic dolls and drew Mary Cassatt inspired images of mothers and their babies. The exhibition was organized by Hammer Curator Ali Subotnick.[4]

In 2011 Holman's exhibition ‘Heterotopias’ was shown as part of the MATRIX 238 program at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. The exhibition included drawings and video. Holman had nine performers imagine alternate identities to create an avatar, or surrogate self, for which she then created props and costumes. Performers used the props and costumes to act out their character in a choreographed music video. She then had each performer fully rendered as a 3-D model in a virtual gamescape. The exhibition was curated by Phyllis Wattis MATRIX Curator Elizabeth Thomas with Dena Beard, Assistant Curator.[6]


  1. ^ Glesmann, Amanda, ed. (2012). Fifty Years of Bay Area Art: The SECA Awards. San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-918471-89-5.
  2. ^ "Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue". Artadia. 2007. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  3. ^ "Desirée Holman: Sophont in Action". Retrieved 2016-11-03.
  4. ^ a b "Hammer Projects: Desirée Holman". Hammer Museum, UCLA. 2009. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  5. ^ "Desirée Holman". Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  6. ^ "Desirée Holman: Heterotopias / MATRIX 238". University of California, Berkeley Art Museum/ Pacific Film Archive. 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2015.