articleDark and foreboding collaborations between science and art, Orange County, California-based artist Laurie Hassold creates fantastical creatures that carry a calm and quiet magnetic energy with them. Her biomorphic and alien-like objects are decadent and curious, drawing viewers close to inspect every tiny and thoughtful detail Laurie incorporates into her meticulous creations. Unexpected and exciting glimpses into the playful darkness inherent in life, death, and the fine line in-between, Laurie works with real bones, found objects, intricate clay work, and many other strange and eclectic materials to compose, sculpt and create intricate and detailed biomorphic beauties.

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Having just wrapped up her latest solo exhibit at Bert Green Fine Art, and two other California-based shows, Laurie is constantly working, whether teaching at a number of universities in Southern California or creating in her studio, this artist never stops going.

Laurie grew up around science thanks to her father, a medical professional. Her early exposure to the medical world aimed her imagination toward fearless and interested experimentation, and allowed her to create wonderful objects and drawings, playing with relics of animal bodies and bones in that process. Laurie was able to not only watch but also participate in medical procedures with her father, from mole excisions to hysterectomies, only fueling her interest in construction and deconstruction of things, people, creatures, and places.

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Her interest in biomorphic design, and the seemingly endless possibilities of nature’s creative genius combined with her artist’s imagination and led her down a path of innate success, although she admits that she feels she collaborates with her materials, letting them guide her through the creation process, with only a small internal plan beforehand.

Her resulting sculptures have a pulsating feel of scientific glamour as her delicate embellishments offer a calm and attractive façade to pull viewers in. The perceived fragility inherent in her creations carry a powerful energy, while the dark and morbid style, coloring, and themes tend to offer an additional threat of evil, encrusted in pearls and jewels, these objects are imbued with a seduction that teeters on the edge between life and death, and heaven and hell.

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Stumbling upon one of her sculptures is like discovering an abandoned mad scientist’s lair or fossils of an alien species that has come and gone. Regardless of their size, her sculptures are powerful and loud in any space. Within any of her work, there are dozens of details to be discovered at a closer glance—viewers stand with her pieces for hours finding new and strange relics of life and interaction in every crevasse.

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Tiny humans bowing to dance to each other inside of what looks like a tree’s chest cavity, with other relics from human life scattered in small pockets of bone and pearl, recalling the strangest of story lines, offering a chance at multiple lives inside death. Using only the power of her imagination and creative genius, her imagination, and what Earth’s creations, her passion for life and emotional ties to science is combined to throw her viewers into a surrealist dream world where there are no nightmares, because everything is possible. Laurie’s ominous and extravagant works of art straddle the real, imaginary, familiar and foreign and entice views imagination to soar to strange and uncharted territory.

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