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My art work over the years has has developed along a number of concepts. The ‘Military Industrial Society’ and total indoctrination of the mass consumers has been my ‘reason for being’ in art making for years. Noam Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent” and later Neil Postman’s “Entertaining Ourselves To Death”. Along with the events of 9/11 pretty much sealed it fo me. By 2006 my works had came off the wall.

Recently I been researching Robert Motherwell, I finished the collection of his writings and scripted lectures and letters.

Following up on his ‘Abstract Expression’ histories, mainly I’m looking into ‘Dadaism’ and ‘Surrealism’.

Both movements spurred on ‘Abstract Expressionism’. It was said in his writings that ‘Dadaism’ was the first political art movement. I’m also interested in the use of ‘collage’ during that time, a main component of the dadaist artist.

Over the years I’ve focused on the contrasting of elements the basis of my technique; physically as well as conceptually. I early on confronted the world of digitization by endeavoring to consider the handcrafted, tactile sculptural objects. Using contrasting political components consisting of war mongering images contrasted with consumerism be it the entertainment industry or banal images of consumer products. Another is the contrast of scale, the intimate as opposed to a large scale dynamic. Contrasting mark making application; ie. spontaneous gestural painting contrasted with the mechanical printed (transferred) mass media images.

My work has a strong political component and from the early 1990's I was strongly influenced by Noam Chomsky’s book “Manufacturing Consent” and again some years later by Neil Postman’s book “Entertaining Ourselves to Death.” I began to include imagery of the movie industry and banal consumer icons, logos, and products.

Wall relief pieces have been part of my oeuvre for many years until when in late 1999 they moved from the wall to the floor. I showed these free standing “wall facades” mounted atop metal structures (grunt Gallery, 2001). I also continued to produce wall mounted works such as the “New World Order Installment.” With this piece I explored moving imagery from the wall into space. A horizontal panel bends out and away from the ground of the work with the aid of visible supporting struts initiating my interest in pulling traditional painting into the third dimension. I was interested in illustrating the movement and more importantly, the moment a wall mounted work becomes a suspended work. 

In the aftermath of 9/11, it seemed that the very fabric of society was "going off the rails", "coming unglued", or “off the wall.” It occurred to me that I could illustrate this almost comedic social predicament by mimicking the movement in my art work. By 2010 the work had become icons bouncing off walls. The metal struts evolved into arcing ‘trace’ lines as in comic book illustrations of objects 

bouncing from one place to another. The art work ricochets off the gallery walls and the 'event' of a wall mounted piece moving through space to become a painting in the third dimension, was established.

More recent works from"The Twins" series include two pieces: “Unspeakable” and “Unthinkable” which are site specific in that they can be installed in different positions depending on the site. I call this the 'transformer' construction and plan to continue in this direction. My newer work "Incoming" (2020), with it's present configuration, ricochets off the walls four times and once off the floor. The most recent piece is another set of twins: "aka Apparently" and "aka Supposedly" (2021). The criss crossing installation of this pair is an attempt to reference conspiratorial phenomena.

I have maintained a studio throughout my life and continue to develop my art practice. 

Joseph Haag

Artist Statement: About
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