Laura Soto is a mixed media sculptor living and working in Los Angeles.
Where did you grow up, and where do you live now?
I grew up in San Diego, and now live in Los Angeles.
Do you collect anything?
I began beach combing at a young age, collecting ocean-worn rocks, and shells, and various debris. A more recent collection would be my array of vintage Lucite furniture and housewares.
What was your first job ever?
As a receptionist at a hair salon.
What is something that you're intrigued with right now; it can be a color, flower, song, movie, person, place, anything really.
I just watched the documentary Fantastic Fungi. My mind is reeling from the endlessly bizarre forms nature produces.
Let's talk a little about your work. It's surreal, magical, beautiful. and gives me a lot of feelings that are gooey and good. And I want to touch them, enter this new new world. What are you hoping I get, think or feel when I see one of your recent sculptures?
Well, exactly that I suppose. Thank you! My practice revolves around an ever evolving loop of construction and destruction. I amass surface, then excavate it, and save everything in between. In my own way I am mimicking those weathered, luminous, and, often, grotesque forms I find when exploring the coast. I am after a moment of disruption and curiosity, a visceral or dreamlike interaction for the viewer that is not easily digestible.
What are your recent sculptures made of, the raw materials. And how do you manipulate them, heat?
Being so rooted in the accumulation of texture and history, my processes are in a constant state of transfiguration. The through line in all seasons of my work are the amorphous forms built of recycled fiber, primarily paper and canvas scraps. As for the surface, I am ever introducing discordant material to disrupt and disturb, though I tend to return to the use of resins, acrylics, oils, plaster, concrete, glues, solvents, waxes, etc.
Do you have a favorite sweater?
My go-to these days is this oversized, heavy, vintage cardigan that I’ve been wearing all quarantine. It is a desaturated, light brown and I replaced the original buttons with mother of pearl ones.
Describe your personal style in 5 words.
1980’s does 1950’s; Victorian accents.
Describe a perfect meal.
Handmade gnocchi in a light pesto with a glass of Barbera.
Where are you going to travel to first when we're all free to travel again?
I imagine a long drive up the California coast, wine tasting and eating oysters.