dani lopez is a textiles artist working within weaving and fiber sculpture to explore queer desire, femininity, and femme identity. She received her MFA in Textiles from California College of the Arts in 2019. Craft has become a process that serves as a physical manifestation of what longing feels like. Weaving at the loom, sewing, and embroidery act as a portal site to reimagine her closeted queer youth into an out loud one. Materiality plays a large role and these objects flirt with a campy, sad aesthetic. Pop music, lesbian bars, and pop culture serve as research for her practice. She was a finalist for the Barclay Simpson award and for the Headlands Graduate award. After spending most of her life living in Oregon and trying to get out, she now lives and works in Oakland, California with her Maine Coon mix cat, Trent.

Artist Statement: 
My work is an accumulation of my desires. The desire be someone else, to be somewhere else, to love someone else, and to be transported to the past for another chance. At times I’m at the loom, attempting to weave away a mundane existence and transform a personal narrative of sadness and longing into seductive beauty. Other times I sew layers of fabric together to create the illusion that it’s transforming its own materiality. Craft becomes the physical manifestation of what longing feels like: obsessive, unending, physically exhausting, and tedious. I oscillate between an adoration of femininity and a disappointment in its superficiality. I look to drag queens who revere femininity and serve it back to us with a knowing wink that it’s all a performance. The exaggerated, distorted reinterpretation of femininity that happens in drag has opened up a trap door that I fell into. The work balances a naive sensibility with a rigorous absurdity. There’s a sense of comic melodrama to this work; this sense of humor acts as a salve to a past, angst-y, teenage self--a salve that can only be gained with age and experience. The work is becoming a fictionalized memoir, where I am in control of what is true, what gets rewritten, and where the two become blurred. The narrative of an out loud youth within the work comes from the closeted one I lived. These objects are doing the best they can with what they’ve got. I exploit a variety of colors to convey femininity or femme sexuality with materiality, texture, and layering. I transform these materials, to make them do something that the viewer didn’t realize they were capable of. I prefer tastelessness to taste, cheapness to luxury. They want to fit in and be relatable, but all the while standing out.