It was a beautiful Southern California afternoon at the delightful Beverly Hills Art Show, the kind of day to put on shorts and sandals to soak in the warmth after a period of oddly confused weather. Although much of my fashion musings consisted of baffled bemusement at the impractical footwear some women chose to wear – almost as questionable as wearing high heels at Disneyland – I also kept a lookout for beautiful jewelry among the dozens and dozens of painters, photographers, sculptors, and mixed-media artists. Of all the artists offering wearable art, Andrea Haffner – an award-winning mixed-media artist who exhibits nationally – popped out with pieces that blend the organic and the sculptural. Much like the familiar insect trapped in amber, biological materials such as flowers, seeds, stems, and leaves become encased within coloured resin. The difference is that instead of inspiring grandiose but intriguing science-fiction, Andrea manipulates form and texture to achieve abstract but not aloof compositions of often startling beauty.
Particularly appealing is the (apparent) simplicity of the pieces. Almost minimalist, Andrea’s compositions nevertheless are sensual and nuanced. A wall would greatly benefit from one of Andrea’s larger hanging pieces, and a neck would certainly be complimented by one of Andrea’s pendants. Take a look for yourself:
Tree blossoms, mustard seeds, resin, pigment, sterling silver - $88
Found twigs, mustard seeds, resin, pigment, sterling silver - $88
Hydrangea flowers, glass ball, resin, pigment, sterling silver - $102
Found berry stem (CA), photo paper, resin, pigment, sterling silver - $102
Found stem, peppergrass pod segments, resin, pigment, sterling silver - $102
If there’s a downside, it could be the price. While it’s hard to judge how fair or unfair the price of these lovely pieces is – and the impeccable quality isn’t a factor in the ambiguity – my wife felt that they were rather too pricey. Had the prices been lower, she wouldn’t have hesitated to buy one for herself. (I wouldn’t have hesitated to buy one for her either.)
Perhaps it’s a question of viewing her work not as a mere commodity, but as an investment in the arts. Still, whatever the veto power of the wallet, Andrea’s wearable art is certainly beautiful, unique, and expressive. Best in show!
To view more of Andrea Haffner’s art, including jewelry for sale, visit her website at:
Disclaimer: Images borrowed from andreahaffner.com under fair use for illustrative purposes. They will be removed at the copyright owner’s request.