German-born photographer Alma Haser began making portraits after she received her first camera at the age of six, an interest revived when the artist, older and wiser at age 13, traveled the world with her family. Haser, who graduated Nottingham Trent University in 2010 and continues to reside in London, traces the “catalyst for my origami obsession” to those early travels, which also took her to Japan. In the current series, Cosmic Surgery, these folded components became central to her practice transforming what begins as an ordinary, almost clinical, style of portrait into a surrealist mind game. To create each work, Haser uses multiple prints of a photographic portrait, covering the sitter’s face with complex geometric forms composed of origami works created from additional prints of the subject’s face. The photograph and object are photographed again so that the finished work retains the flatness of a traditional portrait. With the details of the face obscured, even fractured, by the Cubism-evoking technique, the viewer is confronted with multiple eyes, mouths, noses folded, or woven, into octahedrons and octagonal prisms. This prompts the viewer to look elsewhere to stabilize the viewing experience: the sitter’s attire, hairstyle, partially revealed tattoos, and the tilt of the head, each providing indirect clues to the subject’s true identity. Alma Haser Cosmic Surgery will be on view at De Soto Gallery, November 6 – December 31, 2016.