Chris Haas (Sculptor)

Haastyle Art: An Interview with Chris Haas


A touch macabre...a touch morbid...and an astounding amount of talent, skill, and heart, artist Chris Haas shows the world that he can take ethically-sourced animal bones and turn them into imaginative and unconventional works of art. Chris' artwork is a reflection of his multifaceted self. Combining elements of the rugged wilderness with the timeless and ornate qualities of antiques, Chris creates magical creatures fashioned out of hardy bones and turns them into works of art which appear robust and at the same time ethereal. Through his artwork, he plays with the meaning of the word masquerade and painstakingly performs modifications on his acquired bones that still appear natural and yet supernatural synonymously. Reality and imagination collide in Chris Haas' works where the viewer is forced to question which part of his creation is a 'real' portrayal of the creature that once was with that of the fantastical creature reborn. I had the opportunity to learn more about Chris Haas, when his fascination with bones started, his artistic process, and what inspires him.

Are you a fan of Chris' work? Discover more Macabre Artists.

How and when did you first get started as an artist?

I have been making art consistently since childhood but "how" I got started in pursuing a career in art was by making the decision to do so, which was about seven years ago. Once I realized how bad I wanted it, I dedicated myself to making it happen.

I guess there's a lot more weirdos than there used to be.

What made you first interested in working with animal skulls? How do you acquire these skulls?

I have been collecting skulls and animal parts that I would find while hiking through the woods etc... since a child and have always had a fascination with nature and creatures. Since I have been seriously working with skulls, I have had many skull donations from friends and strangers. Living where I do, I can easily find skulls in antique stores, yard sales etc.. There are also some good on-line suppliers that are ethically sourced.

What is the most challenging part about creating your artwork?

Getting random materials to make sense together and hopefully turn out looking somewhat natural or maybe super-natural! The challenge is definitely what keeps it fun for me.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I'm obsessed with coats and hats.

Favourite or most inspirational place where you live?

I live in southwestern Colorado where beauty and inspiration surround me at all times. I feel very grateful for that.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?

Stay true and focused.

Most interesting critique you have ever received regarding your works?

I once overheard a young boy talking to his mom at one of my shows. While viewing one of my pieces, he asked her "Do coyotes really have horns?" "No", she replied. He quickly exclaimed "Well, they should, cause that looks cool!"

When you think of the concept of 'the artist's ego', what comes to mind?

The false belief that we are better or worse than each other at making art or being creative. I try not to get to caught up in that but still find myself feeling like I need to try and be "as good an artist" as others. Silly.

Most challenging part about being an artist?

Trying to make art at the same rate that ideas come to mind. I never seem to catch up but that's good, I think.

Why do you think there is a growing interest in macabre art?

I guess there's a lot more weirdos than there used to be.

Any future plans you intend to pursue with your artwork?

I would like to work on some larger scale work and maybe some installation projects someday. I mostly hope to keep progressing and finding new ways, new materials and fresh visions to express and create.

Can you describe your artistic process when working with your sculptures?

Time consuming and laborious. :)

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