Our favorite pair of artists masquerading as designers make their Los Angeles debut TONIGHT, November 17th, at the incredible JF Chen Gallery. We've tracked the designers output for the better part of two years and around this time last year we spoke with Christian Lopez Swafford and Lauren Larson about their philosophy, approach and the future of the brand. They also contributed a memorable New Brvtalism mix that fit the tone of their studio sounds at the time. Over the past year, the two have launched the Material Lust Annex, a conceptual design space in New York, and have branched out into furniture like sofas and chairs. We thought it would be a great time to catch up with Swafford and Larsen ahead of their L.A. show and find out what we can expect and what's coming next.
The Brvtalist: We last spoke a year ago and at that time you were still in the process of setting up the Annex so let's pick up there. Talk about the new space and reflect a little on the last year.
Material Lust (Christian): We opened the space in May and just wrapped up the first room installation. Designing and executing the first room really opened up our eyes to what our process will evolve towards in the future. I think we described our selves as artists designing furniture in the past but now we are more environmental artists. A "Total work of Art" is what we are striving for and the Annex is quickly become a space we have grown comfortable experimenting with. So far we have done a full furniture collection, lighting collection, upholstery, textiles, a custom scent and a video installation with music scored by Xavier Swafford from 3TEETH. It's been a pretty busy year.
TB: I've been loving the "Peak" collection. The Twin Peaks Lips sofa and chair are departures from earlier work. They are more surreal and even fantastical. Talk about what inspired this and how did you like working with upholstery?
ML: When designing any soft upholstered pieces like a sofa or club chair it is important to pay attention to the curvature and proportions of the body. We then took that a step further and created curvatures that are heavily inspired from body parts and how they lay. Its funny that you mention the Surreal because we had been looking at surrealist paintings for inspiration for the collection. The goal was to introduce some unexpected shapes while still using classical design elements and construction.
TB: November 17th will see the Los Angeles debut of Material Lust at JF Chen Gallery. How did this show come about and what can we expect from the L.A. premiere?
ML: Bianca Chen is a taste maker in the world of Interiors. Along with her father, they curate one of the greatest collections of antique and vintage furniture in the world at JF Chen. They want to make serious push into the contemporary market by carrying young designers, and to us it is a privilege to be among them. We will be installing some vignettes that feature our work along side curated antique items to show people how to use our work in their own homes. We knew from early on that we wanted to be shown at JF Chen so this opportunity is a dream come true.
TB: Now that we are wrapping up 2016, what's ahead for 2017?
ML: We have a new collection coming that will be heavily inspired by Surrealist and Renaissance paintings. It will feature some cast metal and more carved wood. We want to celebrate the craft that goes into making the work so there will be elements of seeing the actual hand of the person that is working the piece. We also have some paintings that we have been quietly working on. Next year will be busier than this year.
Thank you once again to Christian and Lauren for taking the time out to speak with us. We could not be more thrilled to welcome Material Lust to L.A. and be sure to RSVP (firstname.lastname@example.org) for tonight! For more information, visit Material Lust.