Although it seems that figurative art is self-explanatory, Haller’s paintings present riddles that require deciphering. He started collecting images after his parents passed away, both of them were holocaust survivors. While clearing out their home he found boxes of carefully kept photos, each representing a cherished memory that survived the war. Some photos are of known family members but others are unidentifiable, leaving the artist to make up his own stories from these estranged but nostalgic images.
Haller became interested in historical images and began adding to his parents collection from old magazines and internet sites. Like an archaeologist he removed his images from their original context into his private archive, with the clear intention of using them as material for his art.
The juxtaposition of images from various sources is not obvious and threatens the natural need for coherency on the one hand, but on the other, activates the viewer as a narrator, forced to create his own story.
Indeed, there is no one story and as we are bombarded with images that are bundled together even though not necessarily connected, we practice scrolling daily, and don’t even notice that diptychs and triptychs have become part of our everyday visual language. Some of these paintings are diptychs of the contemporary era – not side by side but Instagram-style – one image above the other.
This project offers a journey through time, through images imbued with historical meaning. Haller places his art on the fine line between classic painting and a contemporary vision. The sharp viewer will recognize classic themes such as the crucifixion, Isaac’s binding and of course the classic still life. He will also notice that the artist created a distance between himself and the art that eschews emotion.
As objects of the past are the relics of today, thus objects of the present will be the relics of tomorrow.