When I started trying to promote my own artwork online I kept coming across other people's art that amazed or compelled me in one way or another. This blog has been a way for me to practice thinking and writing about art, as well as learning more about my peers and all the incredible art that is being made out there.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Haley Hasler

"Portrait Dreaming of Family Vacation"  2010  oil on canvas  46 x 52
"Portrait as an Allegory of Fidelity"  2010  oil on canvas
"Portrait as a Lady Serving a Meal"  2008  oil on canvas  48 x 36
"Winter Madonna"  2009
"Portrait as Saint Casilde"  2009  oil on canvas  46 x 32

I can't, off the top of my head, think of another painter who has made self portrait and autobiography so completely the entire body of their work. The effect is ultimately much more than any individual painting. Each individual piece is certainly complete in it's own way, and some of them are so full of wit and passion that they need no further context to establish them as exceptional paintings. But what makes Haley Hasler's work truly extraordinary is something we can only glimpse a part of now. Because it is not complete. She is in the midst or recording her life in a peculiarly unique and revealing idiom. While a tremendous amount of factual details are conveyed in her realist execution, much more is revealed in a kind of manic fantasy life, a blend of surrealism and allegory, not removed from reality but constantly echoing and reinforcing it. Not everything here is personal. Much of it is cultural, historical or in some other fashion external to her private life. Yet all of these elements are still very much a part of her. They are the flotsam and jetsam of life in the context of culture. She is intentionally toying with the idea of autobiography, interposing and interchanging inner imaginings with exterior realities. One marked example of this is that, while the paintings at first seem very personal and revealing, in every single one of them, her face wears same expression; one of slightly bemused observation. Observation of us, as it seems. Clearly this is the expression she makes while simultaneously painting and staring into a mirror. But it has the effect of turning her carnival chaos imaginings into something like a challenge, a mirror out of which her face stares back at us: "Look at your own life..." her expression seems to say. "You think this is crazy? Just take a good long look..."

Check out her website: haleyhasler.com
You can see some older images, which is really worthwhile to get a feel for the long term project her work has become, at alpha gallery.

thanks to artist Benjamin Rogers for the heads up.


  1. Quel travail incroyable ! Le souci du détail est omniprésent... Cependant je remarque que le visage de cette femme est toujours le même avec la même expression.
    Gros bisous à vous.

    1. I talk about that in my review. I don't know how well it will translate.
      (Je parle de cela dans mon examen. Je ne sais pas comment cela se traduira.) google translation