Saturday, November 15, 2014

BEAUTY: Sculpture AND Furniture--The Haas Brothers

The Haas Brothers, Nikolai and Simon, are twins creating furniture, lamps, vases, objects, and art in Los Angeles. In both method and presentation, the Haas Brothers (little brothers to actor Lukas Haas) interpret their ideas in quite a unique way. I love their zoomorphic chairs, lounges, ottomans, and stools covered in ethically harvested fur from Iceland (the "Beast" chairs are especially fun with their horns and cloven feet!). The dripping, organic brass creations are assembled from an amazing invention of their own design, a hexagon tile made from brass; the fact that they can create such fluid shapes from such a rigid little material is a wonder. And they also make a line of Accretion Vases with layers and layers of glaze and slip built up so as to resemble cilia in lungs. And the lamps they make look like water splashes frozen by a high-speed camera.

The Haas twins signed a deal with Versace to create bespoke products and collectors are snatching pieces up at six figures, but the brothers are still very much on the fringe of things, conceptually speaking. At Art Basel in Miami this year, they showed their interactive installation "Advocates for the Sexual Outsider." The overarching philosophy of the piece and of the twins themselves is anti-shame and pro-sex. Simon is gay, Niki is straight, and they both see sexuality as something that is expressed by every human being, and that being uncomfortable with sex or feeling shame about one's sexuality comes not from an innate sense, but is imposed by external forces who have an interest in controlling people's minds and behaviors. Just read their marvelous statement at the entrance to the piece:

Below is the entrance to the piece: a stylized vagina covered in ruched leather flanked by stylized bronze erections leads to a private, curtained "den" filled with brass and ebony sex toys, and objects and art that support the brothers' refreshing, sensible no-shame policy.

Simon, seated, Nikolai, standing, are the Haas Brothers.

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