Dan Lam's Drippy Art Graces Miami
Miami vibes in anticipation as a new massive sculpture by Dan Lam is slated to be unveiled at Wynwood Walls for Miami Art Week this year. Join us as we discover the story behind "A Subtle Alchemy" and dive into Dan Lam's world of creativity, challenges, and her exciting collaboration with Wynwood Walls.
What's the inspiration behind the title "A Subtle Alchemy," and how long did the sculpture take to create?
Dan Lam (DL): The title of this piece was inspired by the unique properties of the paint used. The paint has a color-shifting effect that can change depending on your perspective. For instance, it may appear purple when viewed from one side and green from another. My intention was to create an illusion where the sculpture seems to subtly change when viewed from different angles.
It took a total of two and a half months to create the piece. The skeleton is made of metal and covered with EPS foam, which was then sculpted to create the drips. Epoxy clay and resins were used to reinforce it. The majority of the work involved sanding the piece, which is the least glamorous part of the process but the most necessary to achieve a smooth finish.
The piece was originally 2 inches, then recreated into one of your biggest sculptures being over 8 feet tall - why did you choose this one to transform?
DL: I was inspired by the shape and form of the miniature model, and I immediately thought it would be perfect for someone to walk underneath it. I really enjoy playing with scale, and the idea of transitioning from 2 inches to 8 feet is quite exciting!
What are you most proud of with this piece?
DL: I am most proud of the physical labor that went into creating this piece. It's extremely satisfying to see it come together and be showcased in a pristine location.
How did you like working with automotive paint for the first time and do you use this now regularly in your creations?
DL: I had a great time! I'm quite experienced with using an airbrush, so there was some overlap with the spray gun, but overall the process was quite different and I enjoyed learning something new. There was certainly a learning curve, and I still have much to learn, but I'm satisfied with how it turned out for my first time. I haven't used automotive paint recently, but I plan to in the future for outdoor projects that require durability.
How did the collaboration with Wynwood Walls come about?
DL: The Goldman Global Arts team visited Dallas to oversee the creation of a mural in Deep Ellum by Tristan Eaton. While I was working on Subtle Alchemy, Tristan brought Jessica Goldman Srebnick and Troy Kelly by the studio and that's how we initially made contact. We have maintained communication and I was officially invited to showcase my work at Wynwood Walls this year.
What does Wynwood Walls' "Power of Purpose" theme mean to you?
DL: I believe the theme speaks to the core of why artists pursue their craft. Despite the possibility of working in solitude and without an audience, they are driven by a profound sense of purpose that is always present and propels them forward. It is this sense of purpose that compels them to spend countless hours in the studio, refining their skills and creating the work.
What are you most looking forward to with this launch?
DL: It's a huge honor for me to share this piece with Miami at Wynwood Walls and I'm simply happy about it! I also collaborated with the merch team to create some amazing products for the museum's gift shop, and I'm super excited about it.
What do you love most about Miami?
DL: Miami is a stunning city. One of my favorite things to do is watch cruise ships come and go against the beautiful city skyline, surrounded by the perfect mix of nature and city life.
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