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HELLO NEIGHBOR - Doing Our Best to Behave: A Diary of What We Could Touch

title: Doing Our Best to Behave: A Diary of What We Could Touch

artist: Lauren Goldenberg

materials: polymer clay and colored light on panel

dimensions:  34.5 x 58 inches

location: Rancho Santa Margarita,California, USA

I’m so deeply interested in the history of an object and the physicality of a surface, which takes on a whole new meaning in light of our quite necessarily “anti-bacterial” obsessed “new-normal” reality. For each day of the stay-at-home orders I have pressed clay between my obsessively washed hands and a surface within the confines of my own home. The vulnerability of the material itself is what articulates the marks on the surface of each object. What started out as an experiment with clay, turned into an intimate investigation in the textures that make up the house I grew up in. There are 58 unique artifacts and counting.

"Each individual piece satisfies a need for physical touch while serving as a reminder of the looming potential danger of the act itself. If I'm being honest, it just makes me crave it more than ever before."

Lauren Goldenberg received her BFA from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2018, where she received the award for Outstanding Studio Work upon graduation. Goldenberg has since moved back to her hometown in sunny southern California where she scavenges through a variety of materials (including the hair of her pets) to make paintings and sculpture next to the cat litter boxes in her makeshift garage studio. Follow her on Instagram @laurengoldenberg

More on Lauren Goldenberg's practice

When I was in 5th grade, Annabelle, my pet rat, grew a tumor the size of a tennis ball. As the tumor grew, I fashioned her a harness to keep it from scraping the floor as she walked. When she died, my mother lovingly trimmed her frail whiskers off and put them in a jewelry box for me to remember her by. This was my first experience with death, and to this day that little box lives in the nightstand by my bed where I sleep every night. When I share this story with people they tend to be put off by this sweet yet disturbing gesture. As emotional beings, they can understand the tenderness in the action but still are repulsed by the circumstances. I am exceedingly intrigued in the

pursuit of finding the midpoint between the nostalgia rooted in suburban American tradition and the grotesque. I am also simultaneously investigating the journey inanimate objects go through to become “trophies” or “artifacts” that memorialize different life stages and experiences. 

Artwork is available for sale. Email to inquire details -

(all proceeds go to the artist)

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