Andrea Hasler, a Swiss artist living in London, participated in a 2014 Artist Residency. Her wax and mixed media sculptures are defined by a tension between attraction and repulsion. Fascinated by the psychological element of the body, the artist works on the boundary of inside/outside, creating something visually appealing but repulsive, where the viewer’s attraction is replaced by repulsion, power, control, and impotence.
Hasler frequently employs skin as a physical aspect that separates the Self from the Other, as well as a possible container for both and what occurs when those limits are breached.
In an interview, Hasler said, “I make works that are concerned with hyper-consumerism, how luxury goods symbolize status in different cultures and fashion brands are influencing behavior and local conventions.”
“My long-term project Desire began with analyzing my own growing obsession with these items and the emotional toll of craving them. I became fascinated with the psychological aspect of consumerism and, subsequently, its emotional link to the abject, that which is aesthetically desirable yet revolting.” She admits
“And the longer I looked at them, the more I wanted to give them a layer of “luxury.” With some of them, only half of the body part is gold, and others—like the one that looks like an intestine growing out of a child’s legs—I made completely gold. The contrast interests me. Flesh can be repulsive. We’re not used to seeing our insides, so it often provokes strong reactions. But then the gold is trying to make that into an acceptable thing, something deluxe even.”
Some of her most provocative and grotesque structures which have stood out are her Swiss Alps Structures and Gold Purse.
Hassler has a very brash style which really comfuses the viewer. Her critique of the moral ideals created by the media really stands out. She also questions the deeply established conceptions in our culture. Her grotesque art stands without reassembling the dissected, divided, and decorated bits into a new or different whole. She confronts the spectator with his or her own sentiments of attraction and repulsion.
Weirdly beautiful things always catch our eyes, as will this artist who makes hair sculptures.