PaperCity Magazine

January 2016 - Dallas

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JANUARY | PAGE 12 | 2016 Niki and Simon Haas in Cape Town, 2015 IN OCTOBER 2015, SIMON AND NIKI HAAS RETURNED TO THEIR HOME STATE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE TEXAS CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR IN HOUSTON. IT'S BEEN FIVE YEARS SINCE THE TWINS — KNOWN NOW AS THE HAAS BROTHERS — HAVE BEEN BACK TO TEXAS. IN THEIR TIME AWAY, THE PAIR HAVE MADE QUITE A NAME FOR THEMSELVES, WORKING FROM THEIR STUDIO IN LOS ANGELES, CREATING ONE-OF-A-KIND OBJECTS AND FURNITURE PIECES THAT HAVE BEEN SHOWN IN GALLERIES AND ART FAIRS AROUND THE WORLD. THEY ARE COLLECTED BY LADY GAGA AND HAVE BEEN COMMISSIONED BY VERSACE HOME. THE BROTHERS — BEST FRIENDS AS WELL AS WORK COMPANIONS — SHARE A PASSION FOR THEIR CRAFT AND IRREVERENCE TOWARDS TRADITIONAL NORMS, THAT PUSH THEM TO THE FOREFRONT OF A CROWDED FIELD. THOUGHTFUL, SERIOUS, PLAYFUL, INTROSPECTIVE AND UNIQUE IN A WORLD WHERE STARDOM IS OFTEN MARKED BY MASS PRODUCTION AND MASS CONSUMPTION, THE HAAS BROTHERS STAND OUT FOR DOING, AND BEING, THE EXACT OPPOSITE. THEIR CANDOR, LIKE THEIR WORK, IS AS REFRESHING AS IT IS HONEST. STEVEN HEMPEL HAS A WORD WITH THEM. HAPPINESS IS A MANY SPLENDORED THING. Niki: I have been very lucky to find what I believe to be the meaning of success. Success is happiness. Once happiness became the goal, the ups and downs became a lot easier to manage. Let me tell you … there were moments where we had no money and no paycheck coming in. There are a lot more times now where everything seems pretty easy and floaty on a financial spectrum. The downs really have become more emotional or philosophical. Am I happier now than when we couldn't afford rent? Not exactly. That's what I've come to know: happiness. The lows weren't caused by money problems or even emotional weight. They were caused by my personal energy investment. Once I saw that I was in control of my own head space, it was easy to see that the ups and downs are a journey that is fun to take. The idea of "never making it" is relative. The only person that is a failure is the one who believes they have failed. I am happy, I'm a success, and I feel like I always have been. The state of our studio at the current moment doesn't justify or legitimize our efforts; it was the intention that did it. That intention existed before we even started. DISCOVERY. Simon: We had one day four years ago in which we met both Donatella Versace and Evan [Snyderman] and Zesty [Meyers] from R & Company, who now represent us. We had gone to New York and met many, many people while trying to sell our work, but on this day it all came together. During the first meeting, we booked a collaboration with Versace, and during the second, we booked the gallery that would become our main support. Neither meeting was different than others we'd had, except that they landed. It's a testament to the importance of not giving up or questioning the value your own output. EAST VERSUS WEST. Niki: I love New York; I love L.A.. But L.A. just feels more free. It's a personal preference; I would never live in New York. Art- and design-wise, both coasts and everything in between are doing really cool stuff. L.A. is having a good moment. Everyone here is thinking in a community mindset. Everyone wants everyone else in the art community to succeed. That's the thing I feel the most attracted to in L.A. The support. I don't feel that same vibe in New York … But maybe I'm just not as sensitive to it there. DESIGNER OR ARTIST: WHAT'S IN A NAME? Niki: Haha. I don't care at all what people call us. But I'm really excited that everyone is in a scramble to put his finger on a definition of our career. I think Simon is a philosopher and I'm a hippie. Those are the closest single-word terms that would describe who we are professionally. Simon: I think it is really dangerous to place so much importance on a criterion such as "function;" that any object which has a function may not be called art. I personally relish that people don't know what to call us, because I find strict definitions to be the downfall of our society. HOW DO YOU FEED YOUR MIND? Simon: I am searching for God; I can feel her in everything I look at. I love to watch physics as they HAAS BEING BY STEVEN HEMPEL MASON POOLE

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