Black Book Gallery is pleased to announce Soft Touch, an exhibition featuring new works by sculptors Dan Lam and Jaz Harold. Soft Touch will open on October 9th from 7-10pm with an artist reception that is free and open to the public—both artists will be in attendance.
Soft Touch intentionally stimulates our haptic senses and desire for physical connection—an inherent human need that’s been collectively neglected during the past year and a half of social distancing.
Dan Lam is an internationally recognized artist based in Texas whose work combines playful shapes, textures and colors with darker metaphysical themes. As Juxtapoz Magazine observes, “Lam’s process and intentions invite a deeper perspective on body politics and the cultural implications of humans judging each other,” another side effect of the pandemic’s many casualties.
Working with materials ranging from polyurethane foam to glittering crystals, Lam’s sculptures are reminiscent of sea urchins, alien blobs or weirdly seductive and anthropomorphic chemical spills. They appear, simultaneously, as organic and yet strikingly artificial hybrids—melding the primordial with the futuristic.
This tension results in a kind of enigma of form that can best be described as uncanny, reminding the viewer of something intensely familiar, while also being completely foreign. Lam’s work has been exhibited at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas; at venues across the US from San Francisco to New York, as well as in Paris and Munich.
Jaz Harold is a New York-based sculpture artist whose work exists at the intersection of innocence and sensuality. Replete with blooming flowers, pastel tones and plush fabrics, her work is soft and inviting, but also erotic and coy.
Harold incorporates humor and irony into her pieces, touching on themes of purification and catharsis. In response to a society that entwines sex with shame, guilt and disease, Harold creates gentle, approachable, and occasionally comical reflections on sex, love and desire. Her work has been exhibited widely in the US, as well as abroad in Italy and Japan.
“I’ve been working with silicone and textile based sculpture for roughly 13 years,” Harold states. “I put a lot of thought into materials, how they feel, how they absorb or reflect light, and what kind of visceral reaction they evoke. I also use a lot of isolated body parts to create a narrative.”
Both Lam and Harold consciously appeal to a childlike naïveté that entices the viewer, tapping into our shared curiosity for things both adorable and vulgar—all while invoking our collective romance with the surreal, the dreamlike, and the otherworldly.
“Our work overlaps in materiality, color, and the tactile quality of everything,” Lam says. “Her work does what my work does; you want to touch the objects, to understand them better with your hands. They are seductive, and the colors make them playful and joyful. Another similarity is how they are visually packed. I feel like there are always little surprises you discover the longer you look.”