Make it odd: this might be the hashtag/principle of the Haas Brothers, i.e. Simon (painter) and Nikolai (musician), twins from Texas (Austin, 1984), from a creative family (their mother is an opera singer, their father a sculptor, and their older brother’s an actor). The two are now stars, residing in the Los Angeles of stardom, thanks to their hard-to-categorize creations: calling them design might be stretching it a bit, but calling them art is also rather dodgy.
Be that as it may, after setting up shop in LA in 2010, the duo has met with remarkable success in the media and on the market – that of collectors and elite consumers – thanks to their hypercrafted works that cross various disciplines: fashion, cinema, music, design and art.
Today the Haas Brothers are exploring aesthetic-formal themes related to nature (especially animals), science fiction, sexuality, psychedelia and color theory (Goethe is turning over in his grave, perhaps).
Two years ago, in 2015, they put what is maybe their most complex project together, a successful adventure with the craftswomen of Cape Town, South Africa, leading to an irresistible collection of intricate sculptural objects, Afreaks, one-of-a-kind pieces portraying fantastic animals, completely made by hand with billions of tiny beads of colored glass, a typical material in South Africa.
Now they arrive at Palazzo Benzon in Venice, during the 57th Venice Art Biennale, together with their New York gallery R & Company (www.r-and-company.com), which thanks to the collaboration with Amini Carpets is presenting Woven Forms, a collection of 25 carpets, in numbered limited editions, made by hand by artisans in Nepal based on the creations of international artists and designers.
The Haas Brothers play a leading role with five zoomorphic rugs, representing the mantles of five extinct animals, also with playful titles like La Brea Brad Pitt. In short, a new but prehistoric zoo, almost emulating the characters of Lewis Carroll: from the March Hare to the Mock Turtle…
Text by Olivia Cremascoli