It is hard to impress people at Art Basel. For one, there are thousands of exhibitors, most of which are world renowned galleries, famous artists, and industry-leading designers. It takes a lot to stand out from the crowd. And speaking of crowd, there's also the crowd that actually attends Art Basel. Let us just say the typical Basel-goer is not one to show much enthusiasm, lest it belie her sophisticated facade.
At the most recent show in December however, which we attended in conjunction with Design Miami, one design duo did manage to stir up some discernable excitement, even amongst the cool kids. If you follow anyone design-minded on Instagram or Twitter, then the name (or at least the images below) will likely look familiar. We are talking about the Haas Brothers.
The team is made up of Simon and Niki Haas, twin brothers from L.A., who have risen to pseudo-fame over the last few years through their work with and endorsement by Donatella Versace (they've designed pieces for Versace Home). Their art has been described with terms like "hypersexual," "sensational," "luxury," and "freaky," but the brothers maintain it's actually meant to get people to think and push them outside their "uptight" comfort zones. In fact, in a November 2015 interview for VICE, they described wanting to achieve exactly the din they conjured at this year's Basel show.
"We like to poke at uptightness sometimes. It has a lot to do with the venue we’re showing in. There are so many uptight people at Art Basel, and in the art world in general. Something like Brown Lunch [a work they showed as part of their "Sex Room" exhibit at Art Basel last year, seen below] makes them get all weird. They cringe at it."
Exactly why we love them...and also how fabulous is their work?
HEX STOOLS & CACTUS FLOOR LAMPS
STOOLS: BRASS HEX TILE; FLOOR LAMPS: ACCRETION PAINT LAYERING
BUFFALO HIDE, CARVED EBONY, CAST BRONZE
CAST BRONZE, BLUE PATINA
SEX ROOM FRAMED PAINTINGS AND ILLUSTRATIONS
FRAMES: BRASS HEX TILE. PORTRAITS: OIL PAINT. ILLUSTRATIONS: PEN ON LEATHER
AFREAKS SERIES, BEADED SCULPTURE, CAST BRONZE
For more from The Haas Brothers, check out their website.