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For MATERIAL LUST, aka Christian Lopez Swafford and Lauren Larsen, it’s been three years since their last body of work was shown. Their latest – Return of the Oppressed – was created both together and separately and recently debuted at INDEPENDENT as part of an incubator project for unrepresented young artists at New York’s Independent Art Fair.

The focus of this body of work is on the steady influx of external and internal oppression we as a population experience, and the way that oppression and our reactions to it manifest in our environment. MATERIAL LUST identified a number of pressures and stressors that can be external and environmental, or internal and physiological and created a collection that feels bodily in its forms.

We’ve all found a way to develop protection against these oppressors, what Return of the Oppressed seeks to translate is how these protective skins manifest through sculptures, reliefs, and paintings. The series utilizes modern materials such as rubber, latex, and plastic, as well as classic materials like wood, plaster, and steel. Nested forms depict protection, while much of the work was intentionally left in a prototype phase.

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