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Amelia Bauer likes to blow things up. She worked with a pyrotechnic crew to make fireworks for her Smoke Signals series of photographs, and for her aptly-named Explosion Pillows, she zeroed in on car explosions from movies like the Godfather and Night of the Living Dead. "We have this fetishizing of violence in our culture," she says. She also gravitates toward landscape photography. "I'm kind of interested in the conflicted American attitude toward landscape — or what I see as American — where it's a space between romanticism of the great outdoors and a deep-seated discomfort or fear of the wild." Bauer's goal is to create work that is "beautiful and intriguing but also kind of unsettling."
Her studio space in Greenpoint is more like a think tank — a place to put up her prints and react to them — than a real work room. It's her home upstate and its garage that offer ample space to work in, "so I can get messy," Bauer says. Otherwise, things really happen on "set," if you can call it that. To get the peephole effect in her Toile Series "we had a ragtag group of assistants, including my friend and my boyfriend, and we carted around a generator in a wheelbarrow along with 4,000-watt lights in upstate New York." Bauer currently has work hanging at New York's Phillips de Pury shop, and she will show at L.A.'s De Soto Gallery the first week of June. Her first-ever animated piece had its debut screening on April 14 as part of Houston's "Universal Backyard Theater" project.
Amelia, sitting in front of her most recent in-progress work, a collaboration with Kate Steciw.
Click through to see more of Amelia Bauer's work.
Photographed by Tom Hines.