An Evolutionary Thread Weaves Through Thomas Chistopher Haag’s Magnificent Murals

October 11, 2010

Ratcheting up on the lift like window washers, we saw two guys on the side of this building working at this attenuated art-piece in the process of actually painting on the façade. We thought we were seeing vinyl, poster-like billboards being hung – but no. These were actual murals/paintings on the wall. Magnificent paintings applied before our very eyes! Artist Thomas Christopher Haag is painting incredible vertical murals at 2nd between Central and Gold Avenues in downtown, Albuquerque. As we walked by last Friday, the weather was perfectly gorgeous – bright, sunny and warm-the looming art was astonishing and certainly caught our eye(s). Three separate inset panels towered with mosaic-like patterns. We were forced to stop and watch the work. The west face of the building was in shadow, making for comfortable working conditions – a welcome reprieve from the otherwise blazing sun.
As we approached the lift with Haag and his associate onboard, we gazed upward at these stunning images, and asked – what was the inspiration for these paintings? Was it aliens? Was it Egyptian hieroglyphics? Was it local, indigenous petro glyphs? Haag responded that it was all of the above. Each mural is of a like-kind color theme – not quite mono-chromatic – but three distinctly different color schemes.
Haag is part of the “Street Text” exhibition. There is a series of citywide events titled Street Arts: A Celebration of Hip Hop Culture and Free Expression – which by name alone sounds like it invites, accepts and incorporates a broad swath of applications on surfaces. The problem with the “free expression” sound of it is that it often occurs on someone else’s property without their consent, approval, or appreciation. In this case, Haag is commissioned by the owners of the building, the McCune Foundation – recognized benefactor of the arts.
His themes seem to follow an evolutionary thread, says Haag of his work: “The characters and images are cut from this abstract and complicated background. They are scarred and marked and shaped by the colors, shapes, lines, text, and symbols of their unguarded lives and the shifting boundaries that define them. They are holy because I want them to be”.
Whoa…he’s approachable, affable, interestingly educated, well traveled and has brought all of this intensely beautiful and complex simplicity to Albuquerque. His subjects are a colorful, mosaic with many faceted and dazzling patterns of humanly graphic imagery.
Enjoy!

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2 Responses to “An Evolutionary Thread Weaves Through Thomas Chistopher Haag’s Magnificent Murals”

  1. SUSAN RODEN Says:

    Inspiring and incredible!

    Is Haag known for murals or does his art translate into smaller scaled paintings?

    Also would be interesting to view the range of the other Street Art Exhibition.

  2. pattisays Says:

    http://thomaschristopherhaag.com/resume.html Here’s a link to see more of his work and also check out 516 ART – the gallery on Central downtown as they are involved with this Street Art Project. Thanks Susan for your interest!


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