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Emily Haag is a contemporary abstract expressionist from Sparta, New Jersey with a focus in painting and printmaking. Her works center around the physicality of the material (mixing sand with her paint) and how it plays with light and shadow.

“I begin each work impulsively and spontaneously. Mixing the sand into acrylic has become as much a part of the art as the piece itself; the composition comes 2nd to the process of manipulating the materials. Sand is a very provocative material, soft and inviting, while simultaneously abrasive and irritating. It often evokes enjoyable memories and experiences of family vacations to the beach, and the rhythmic motion of the crashing waves gives a sense of comfort and familiarity. Jacques Benveniste theorized that water holds memory. Now a widespread cliché made known through the popular Disney film, the theory still rings true to my process. Memory is very important to my work, and can often be blurred or distorted by time. While the oceanic water has yet to hold a physical presence in my works, sand is its placeholder.

I once had a professor tell me to be the shark of my paintings, to attack the paintings like a shark. I think about this frequently. Working through my paintings I realize that I am both the shark and its prey. I struggle and fear this unknown, but I also attack it; I get extreme anxiety as an artist, but I strive to use that to my advantage and make meaningful work for myself.”
www.haagstudio.com