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Aspen Art Museum


Haas Brothers

Biggie Balls
21 x 48 x 21 in
Kindly donated by the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery
Estimate: $100,000–$150,000

About this Work

Throughout their practice, the Haas Brothers—twins Nikolai and Simon (b. 1984; Austin, TX)—investigate the slippery divide between art and design with humor, whimsy, and inventive originality. While the artists are best known for their riotously colorful biomorphic forms, genitalia-adorned furniture, and pun-infused titles, an intellectual, conceptual, formal, and technical rigor grounds their practice. Working in sculpture, design, film, fashion, and music—and often in the liminal space somewhere between these disciplines—the Haas Brothers strive to liberate their work, their viewers, and themselves from the constraints of repressive social conventions.

With Biggie Balls, the Haas Brothers build upon the Accretion forms they began developing nearly ten years ago. Inspired by processes of layered accumulation found in the natural world—in things like coral and tree fungus—the artists’ Accretions are produced by brushing wet clay onto dry clay in layers, amassing the uniquely textured surface by hand over time. “Accreting layer by layer we guide the growth of tiny, fragile structures until each original speck of texture has become a porcelain petal,” the Haas Brothers write. “The resulting texture is a record of time and growth, it’s fur-and-fungus-like fingers breathing life into the vessel’s form.”

To produce a similar effect in bronze, the artists have developed an innovative process, loosely based on ceramic coil building. To color the cast bronze sculptures, the artists apply a chemical patina to the surface of the works, creating natural variations in rust to achieve the desired colors and effects. This time- and labor-intensive process—typical of the Haas Brothers’s cross-disciplinary approach to their practice—produces unique works, of which the artists can make no more than ten a year. Christening this sculpture with one of the artists’ signature, pun-infused titles—the Haas Brothers artists humorize and anthropomorphize the sculpture, the reference to rapper Biggie Smalls offering a point of connection and relatability for the viewer.

About the Artists

With their creations—across media, scale, and form—the Haas Brothers strive for a resounding emotional resonance. Employing shock, humor, and titillation, the Haas Brothers build rooms filled with phalluses and suggestive orifices, adorn their furniture with bronze testicles, place lightbulbs in disembodied hands, and produce furry, headless beasts. The artists’ ultimate goal here lies in a desire for their work to release viewers from notions of shame—particularly those associated with sexuality and gender. Subverting the rigid norms that control imagination, the Haas Brothers’s work liberates its viewers to a land of fantasy, to a world beyond constraints, to a place of childhood innocence. “I think we are honing our ability to create fantasy,” Niki says. “It’s definitely supposed to take you back to childhood, and it’s meant to free you from preconceived stereotypes or rules in how you interact with the world and yourself.”

The Haas Brothers have had numerous solo exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including those at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York and Aspen (2019 and 2018); Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin, TX (2023, 2017 and 2016); SOCO Gallery, Charlotte, NC (2019), Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL (2017); and Galerie Gmurzynska, Zurich, Switzerland (2013). Their work was included in the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, NY and exhibited at the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA. Work by The Haas Brothers may be found in the permanent collections of the RISD Museum, Providence, RI; the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, NY; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA. They were the recipients of the Arison Award in 2019, given by the YoungArts Foundation. They recently were the subject of solo museum exhibitions at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami (2018); the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA (2021); the Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, NY (2022).

The Haas Brothers will have solo museum shows at the Nasher Sculpture Center (2024), Cranbrook Art Museum (2024), and the Museum of Art and Design (2025).

How to Bid:

Bidding on this work takes place at the ArtCrush gala on Friday, August 4th, at 8pm MT. Absentee and telephone bidding available - please contact for more information, including a condition report.

There is no Buyer’s Premium and the difference between the mid-estimate and the winning bid is a tax deductible donation to the museum.