My art is a means for investigating the passage of time, the decay of physical things, and the truth of mortality. I explore these concepts through process-oriented artworks that emphasize ritual and material. The process is communicated with the creation of relics, often existing as works on paper, photographs or the remains of degenerated sculptures. These relics bear witness to the process.
Material exploration and an alchemical inclination drive the work. I engage with materials that feel elemental and essential but are also fragile and ever changing - bone, dirt, ice, ash, wax, salt.
The occult and dark magic often inform the tone and visual language of my artworks. There is a solemnity and clarity that I continue to investigate and filter through my post-minimalist inclinations.
Even though I have earned my master’s degree and, in many ways, bought into the intellectual, academic and often very self-concerned realm of contemporary art, I am interested in a more pre-art historic mode of production. I am moved by human constructed objects and rituals that possess sincere spiritual and metaphysical power.
I focus on themes of temporal change and death because they remain central to our existence. I see a diminished reverence for the power of death in our culture. Through my work I aim to pay homage to death while offering viewers an experience of being “present”, aware of our existence in time and mindful of life’s temporal nature. My intention is to evoke a recognition of mortality giving rise to feelings of gratitude and humility born from a sense of our shared impermanence.
Kevin Baer was born in Denver, Colorado to an architect father and sculptor mother.
Family hikes and camping trips in the Rocky Mountains gave him an appreciation and interest in the natural world. Kevin continues to approach projects in his studio with a Boy Scout’s pragmatism and a scientist’s fervent curiosity.
He attended college in California, achieving his bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University. Graduate study brought him to Louisiana where he earned his MFA at the University of New Orleans.
The artist is also molded by favorite literary works of science fiction, horror and bleak novels like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Kevin’s favorite art experience remains an intimate heavy metal show - the raw emotional power continues to ring true for him. Time spent working in landscaping and within his own small garden continue to reveal lessons in slow growth and interconnectedness.
After graduate school Kevin has worked as an arts educator, teaching at both the college and high school level. The artist approaches his teaching as parallel to his studio practice. He feels that in many ways the goals of encouraging creative thought and sharing artistic expression are best served in the classroom.
Kevin Baer currently lives in New Orleans with his girlfriend and his large cat.