ML19001 (2019) in wood and latex.
ML19004 (2019) in wood, epoxy, and plastic.
DESIGNER OF THE DAY

Designer of the Day: Material Lust

Through a new body of sculptures, reliefs, and paintings that debut at New York’s Independent Art Fair, work-and-life partners Lauren Larson and Christian Swafford aim to confer a sense of protection against pressures both internal and external.

Through a new body of sculptures, reliefs, and paintings that debut at New York’s Independent Art Fair, work-and-life partners Lauren Larson and Christian Swafford aim to confer a sense of protection against pressures both internal and external.

Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.

Age: b. 1981 (Christian) and 1986 (Lauren).

Occupation: Artists.

Instagram: @materiallust.

Hometown: Washington, D.C. (Christian) and Portland, OR (Lauren).

Studio location: SoHo, New York.

Describe what you make: Sometimes we design objects and sometimes we create sculpture.

ML19011 (2019) in cotton, foam, and wood.

The most important thing you’ve designed to date: Our very first piece (Portmanteau HER and HIM) because it taught us how to create together.

Describe the problem your work solves: We don’t have any answers, only questions.

Describe the project you are working on now: The work focuses on the steady influx of external and internal oppression on our populace, and the way that oppression and society’s reaction to it manifest in our built environment. Material Lust has identified pressures and stresses that we have labeled as oppression. This oppression can be external and environmental, or internal and physiological. The external includes the oppressive nature of our current sociological, geopolitical, and economic climate. The internal includes our declining mental health and degrading quality of life, as well as incurable diseases and the effect of aging on the body. These oppressors take a toll on our collective physical and mental health. In turn, the populace has found ways to cope with and defend against these pressures via modern distractions and self soothing. Put another way, the populace has developed their own protective skin to defend against these oppressors. Return of the Oppressed shows how the oppressors, the populace, and our protective skins manifest in the built environment through a series of sculptures, reliefs, and paintings. Material Lust has included modern materials such as rubber, latex, and plastic as well as old-world materials such as hardwood, plaster, and steel. The nesting forms are arranged in a way that infers protection, and a sense of armoring oneself. Much of the work is purposely stalled in a prototype stage of development in order to add layers without losing the texture of the original form.

ML19002 (2019) in wood, steel, and latex.
Partnership
ML19001 (2019) in wood and latex.

A new or forthcoming project we should know about: It has been three years since we have shown a new body of work. The work was done together and done separately marking our sixth year as a studio. It will debut at INDEPENDENT as part of their special projects as an incubator for unrepresented young artists.

What you absolutely must have in your studio: Skinny Puppy, Sisters of Mercy, and Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees.

What you do when you’re not working: We’re always working.

Sources of creative envy: 1970’s Biba, Maria Pergay, Man Ray, Marianne Brandt, Neo Rauch, Comme des Garçons, Anne Truitt, and Louise Bourgeois.

The distraction you want to eliminate: Social media.

ML19006 (2019) in wood and epoxy.
Partnership
ML19004 (2019) in wood, epoxy, and plastic.

Concrete or marble? Brutalist concrete.

High-rise or townhouse? Townhouse.

Remember or forget? Remember!

Aliens or ghosts? Depends on the day.

Dark or light? Obviously, dark.

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