Arts / Galleries

Miley Cyrus Loves This Dallas Artist and You Will Too

Dan Lam Lets You Reach Out and Touch

BY // 08.09.17

It’s nearly impossible not to be drawn to the work of Dallas-based artist Dan Lam. Her strange, colorful, squishy sculptures appeal to some kind of primitive human instinct. The blobby little creatures provoke a universal reaction among viewers; whether they ask aloud or wonder silently, they have the same question in mind: Can I touch it?

Most of the time, the answer to that question is no.

However, Lam has recently taken her ultra-textural sculptures to a another level. The artist’s latest work actually invites interaction from the viewer.

Studio experiments @fairmontdallas #residency

A post shared by Dan Lam (@sopopomo) on

Six of these new, fully touchable pieces are currently on display at Fort Works Art, as part of the group show “Candy Castle,” which opened last weekend and runs through Sept. 9.

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Lam says the idea for these interactive pieces came from people’s consistent reaction of wanting to touch her sculptures.

“Usually I don’t really want people to touch them, so I wanted to create something people could interact with where there’s still some mystery to it,” she tells PaperCity.

Lam’s curious and mesmerizing pieces have captured the art world and the Internet alike. In addition to the show in Fort Worth, the artist is currently part of a group exhibition in Munich, and will have a solo show in San Francisco this fall.

You can also find the alien artworks in the Facebook headquarters, and the homes of quirky pop star Miley Cyrus and supermodel Lily Aldridge.  
Cyrus became a fan of the artist thanks to Instagram, where Lam has 139,000 followers. Her prominent presence on social media has made her work an Internet sensation.

It’s easy to see why – Lam often posts hypnotizing behind-the-scenes videos and photos of the artworks.

The touchable pieces are just the next step in her artistic evolution. Before those, Lam had begun using thermochromic, heat-sensitive paint.

“The idea with that is thermochromic paint is heat-sensitive, so you could affect a piece without touching it,” Lam says.

“I definitely want to push the thermochromic paint further. That was the step before these fully touchable ones.”

The artist is very savvy with materials, experimenting with unusual mediums to create texturally ambiguous sculptures. The touchable pieces are made with flexible polyurethane foam, a material Lam recently mastered.

She plans to continue making touch-friendly pieces, taking the interactive aspect of her work to new heights.

“They’re actually going to continue to grow. I have pieces in progress that are going to be really tall. Imagine stacked ice cream, but taller,” Lam says.

You can see and feel Dan Lam’s remarkable sculptures for yourself at “Candy Castle” at Fort Works Art, running now until September 9th.


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