Work In Progress (& Apéro No. 7) — Multi-media artist LAURA CATHERINE SOTO

Laura is a GREAT hugger. One of those sweeping hugs that envelops you in joy and warmth, and feels like fizzy champagne. Which was exactly what she's prepared for our morning studio visit, along with fresh mandarins from the backyard (for mimosas, of course) and the most beautiful fresh baked brioche. 

While many were making sourdough starter during covid, Laura made brioche, and she perfected it. Fluffy, buttery, perfect twinge of salt. You could feel the energy, effort and love vibrating through. And this is what you feel in front of one her pieces.

Laura's work is driven by curiosity and the delight of discovery, of destruction and construction, of the discord in the ways things interact. Originating in art school where she would deconstruct canvases she had previously painted on, the seemingly randomized folds and shapes would grow more and more intentional as she layered various materials on top. Hardware and art store hauls would consist of opposing materials like oil and water-based solutions, which she would apply just to see how the alchemy would affect the final result. This process creates a lot of problems to resolve and explore, which is part and parcel to Laura's very scientific mind.

"I never have an end point in mind. When I get too precious about something, it's time to start excavating."

I tell Laura she's kind of an archaeologist, to which she laughs and agrees, "of the alien ecosystem I've created." And when you step into one of her shells, it truly has feels like something being excavated. Signature globs of a resin mixture drip from the arched roof but upon closer examination, there are incredible amounts of color and material buried within layers upon layers of undefinable textures. In a word, it's fantastical.
Beyond this painstaking process that, if you let it, takes you on a journey with each of Laura's strokes, each piece by itself demands attention—but softly. If you believe in spirituality physics, that nothing can be destroyed including energy and vibrations, these are ever apparent with Laura's work. The motion of the material vibrates with this energy, and it's the joyful energy that Laura chooses to fill her own well up with—"sex and food"—that's visceral through her art.

"I'm a materialist in the way that I believe in buying the best things you are able to and keeping them for the rest of your life. I feel like that with what I make."

When you step into Laura's home studio, it's evident that she's an artist who loves living with her work and what's more, who is IN love with it. It's meditative and healing for Laura, and besides increasing scale and going "hog-wild" with immersive quality, it would be her biggest joy to wake up amongst her pieces, walk through doorways and under ceilings of sparkling, effervescent drops. And quite frankly, it'd be ours too.

We were so delighted to host Apéro No.7 together with Laura last Friday and bring some of her magical works to the Gorky community, where some will remain in store and for sale through the middle of January.

Our gratitude to Laura and Robert of Pluto Projects for such a beautiful evening, we couldn't have imagined a better want to close out our last Apéro of the year. 

Happy holidays Gorky gang xx


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