Juxtapoz Magazine - Garbage Futurism Post-Waste: A Review of the World of BAER

Juxtapoz Magazine – Garbage Futurism Post-Waste: A Review of the World of BAER

GARBAGE FUTURISM POST-WASTE is a solo exhibition by BAER. The artist behind BAER is anonymous, as much of their expression is illegal, and BAER is a free-form vehicle for experimentation for that anonymous artist. This exhibition, by who is often referred to as your “graffiti writers’ favorite  graffiti writer,” happening to be at Superchief Gallery in Los Angeles, “the art world’s favorite art gallery,” is a truly historic confluence of underground communities colliding. Gaining fame for street level bombing in his teenage years, he truly gained recognition for his unparelled skills as a piecer, pioneering the fine lined, illustrative, graffiti burner movement that’s inspired so much aerosol fine art today.

Taking his artistic approach much further than simply performing graffiti acts, BAER has spent the past decade cultivating a devoted cult following, through extremely well produced online videos and building his narrative through conceptual graffiti projects. His feature and interview in Juxtapoz back in 2017 remains one of the most clicked on graffiti stories on this site. His serial killer inspired persona, the “Bay Area Butcher,” exacts revenge on style-biting graffiti toys, and lives the lifestyle of BAER’s universe with his trio of loyal ladies, the Baerettes. There’s even a hand-made line of lookalike action figures of the Bay Area Butcher, brought to life in one of the videos during a satanic incantation, dubbed “The Lil Butcher.” The short film, a work of art-elevated grafitti film iself, is appropriately named, “Anatomy of a Serial Filler.” Being a literal toy, the Little Butcher handles his creator’s dirty work, partaking in ‘toy’ activities like creating small-scale burners on canvas for the exhibition.

The exhibition is BAER’s first solo foray to bring his unique style of world building to an exhibition format, as all the amazing work he’s created to date has been free, illegal, and often temporary, as it appears in public spaces. BAER’S genius as a conceptual artist is evident throughout the exhibition, as there are at least five exhibitions worth of concepts packed into this debut showcase. It could be said that the ‘Devil is in the details’ when it comes to GARBAGE FUTURISM, literally.  The central sculpture is a hand-made mechanical Baphomet, surrounded by a ‘crap circle,’ a neon-pink painted ring of garbage. Throughout the exhibition are artifacts of BAER’s universe; “Supreme buttplugs” and boner pills that mock the Hypebeast contemporary capitalistic collector culture; “Google meat” and “Apple I-Plugs,” a conceptual butt plug that charges your iphone on the go.

The opening party, held on April 8th in downtown LA, featured an immersive TED-talk style presentation on the products by the “Tweak Squad” a parody “Geek Squad” that even included an I-plug being inserted into a real human ass on display in a plexiglass case mounted on the wall. Sculptural works bring BAER’s world of BDSM and DMT-inspired psychedelia to life throughout, with lamps, tables, wall mounted tablets and statues. For the exhibition he created a line of BAERphenelia, sculptural and functional drug taking devices, like little butcher knives for cutting lines, and a “McMeth Pipe” for freebasing the substance of your choice.

Like a technicolor Ralph Steadman, BAER’s blacklight installation is the work of an artist taking us to the frenetic edge through psychedelic exploration and unique skill in documenting that unworldly experience. Much of BAER’s inspiration is received through “downloads”, experiences he’s able to bring back with him from another realm under the influence of DMT.

As he tends to excel in all forms he takes on, BAER has presented an exhibition for the history books. It’s up there with the great street-art-meets-gallery exhibitions of time from the likes of Barry McGee, David Choe and Neckface.  It’s one you have to see in person. 

Text by Willian Dunleavy with assitance from his friend Evan Pricco. The show runs through May 7th 2023 at Superchief Gallery LA, open every day except Monday.  

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