IN DIALOGUE WITH LAURA SOTO, SCULPTOR
Laura Soto is a Mixed Media Sculptor living and working in Los Angeles. She explores the vulnerability and poetics of material through the accumulation and destruction of surface. Her practice centers mainly on large forms built of fiber that transform under the weight of media amassed. Below, we take a moment to talk with her about a capsule collection of vessels launching exclusively with Maimoun.
Tell us about your first experience with the world of art.
Growing up I was always busying my hands with drawing or watercolors or clay, always tinkering and experimenting, but I don’t recall any experience with the formal art world until college. Those years were formative in uncovering what type of practice and process suited me. I had no reference point for how to be in the art world before then or really what that even meant.
Your work combines many mediums, resulting in something that feels quite otherworldly. Take us through your process of creation.
I am interested in the way discordant material interact and change each other. I grew up beach combing, collecting luminous, broken fragments along rocky shorelines. I am chasing that sense of wonder and discovery in my process, in accumulating surfaces that are alluring and strange and repulsive all at once. I build up material and break it back down and save all the fragments… my studio has become it’s own alien ecosystem that primarily revolves around the large fiber based forms which beget debris that circulates down to the all the other subjects.
This collaboration is something we’ve been dreaming of for a while. What inspired the pieces for Maimoun?
This year I have begun exploring pieces that are deceptively functional. I am drawn to these moments of playful and disruptive surrealism.
What other artists do you look to for inspiration?
David Lynch’s work resonates with me on a visceral level. There are few artists who are so commandingly immersive and uncompromisingly strange. So many artists try to capture the sensation and disorientation of dreaming but he truly succeeds.
What is something you have loved for a long time?
Well, beach combing. The way the sea has abstracted and weathered both organic and inorganic material alike is endlessly intriguing. From where I sit to write this I can observe my collection of agate and abalone and the odd metal fragments I’ve compiled over my life.. I love how tactile and immersive something so small can be.
What has it been like creating art during this period away from society? From being in your space, it seems the answer to this question is obvious but what does your fantasy world look like?
This season has been difficult in so many facets save for my studio practice. My making has always been a source of stillness and meditation, prayer-like and singular in the way my mind and body focus on whatever is at hand. It is my favorite thing to wake up early, make a pot of coffee, and spend hours experimenting and excavating in my home studio. My fantasy world looks like this but with more space to expand the engulfing scale of my sculpture… a home I can completely configure and orient around my practice, where I could give free reign to the multitude of forms within me.