Alma Haser is our newest art obsession. Haser takes a base of photography and adds tactile manipulation to elevate her works beyond the simplicity of photographs. From woven images to portraits printed onto mind numbing puzzle pieces, Hager's works are simultaneously whimsical and invitingly haunting.
"Born in 1989 into an artistic family in the Black Forest, Germany, Alma Haser is now based in London and on the southeast coast. She is known for her complex and meticulously constructed portraiture, which are influenced by her creativity and her background in fine art. Alma creates striking work that catches the eye and captivates the mind.
Expanding the dimensions of traditional portrait photography, Alma takes her photographs further by using inventive paper-folding techniques, collage and mixed media to create layers of intrigue around her subjects; manipulating her portraits into futuristic paper sculptures and blurring the distinctions between two-dimensional and three-dimensional imagery." (1)
Currently, we are loving her puzzles. Haser photographed pairs of twins and printed the resulting photographs onto puzzle pieces, creating two puzzles with identical piece structures but different images. She then alternated pieces from the puzzles of each twin, to produce a single puzzle. The result is tangle of nearly identical images that beautifully parallels the similarities and differences of identical twins.
Additionally, the works are functioning puzzles! This means when you are responsible for assembly, adding an almost performance art quality of viewer participation. Once the pieces are matched, you are left with a photograph broken by both the physical texture of the underlying pieces as well as a swirl of dizzying faux piece outlines that work to further complicate the visual. Its such a profoundly successful series and we hope you manage to get one for yourself before they sell out!
What makes Haser's art so remarkable for us is how minor interruptions of photographs can so powerfully alter both the visual as well as the provocative qualities. Despite the original photographs being lovely serene compositions, there is an unbalanced quality in all of Haser's works that we find addictingly discomforting. And the fact that all the manipulations are done by hand enhances this discomfort; Haser is taking something almost mundane and violating it to create something beautifully uneasy. Theres a somber magic there that is undoubtably alluring.