Garrett Baumer, Storage, 2012
For me photography has always been a way to make sense of the world around me, analyzing and dissecting it with my camera. Whether staged, found or often a combination of both, my photographs have always been influenced by a personal interpretation of my interests and experiences. The delicate tension between reality and perception, which is inherent to photography will never cease to fascinate me and an artist who is successfully balancing on the fine line between the two is Garrett Baumer
Garrett Baumer, Re-Entry, 2013
Garrett Baumer, Decontamination, 2012
Baumer was born and raised in Dayton, OH. His mother worked in a video store when he was young and she would let him go through boxes of VHS tapes stored in the back room to watch at home. Baumer made his selections purely based on the visuals of the cover art and the movies were overwhelmingly horror, science fiction and fantasy. These genres of film, amongst others, have remained highly influential in his current photographic work but his inspirations span from researching how nuclear waste is stored to Hanger 18 at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which allegedly contains evidence from the UFO incident in Roswell, NM. He initially started his current body of work, constructing sets, lighting them and then photographing them, because he was not able to find the locations he envisioned. After creating the first set, Baumer did not want to relinquish the ultimate control he now had over the making of his photographs and has been working in this manner since 2012. The locations he creates could be real places and although he is not interested in ‘tricking’ the viewer, he is often asked where he found these locations.
Garrett Baumer, Fire, 2012
Baumer’s photographs are beautifully surreal and question the viewer’s own perception of reality, as well as the role that truth and fiction play in photography. In the simplest sense of recording the “real,” Baumer is photographing what is in front of his camera, but he constructed what he is capturing and the viewer is initially inclined to wonder where and what these mysterious spaces are and how the photographer was able to access them.
Garrett Baumer, H-18, 2012
Baumer received his BFA from the University of Louisville and his MFA from Columbia College Chicago. He is currently finishing up a year-long residency at Lillstreet Art Center as the Digital Arts and Photography artist in residence and was recently named a Flash Forward 2013 Winner.
Garrett Baumer, Watchtower, 2012
Garrett Baumer, IN.S.E.R.T., 2012
Garrett Baumer, Containment, 2012
Garrett Baumer, Breach, 2013
Garrett Baumer, Barrier, 2013
Garrett Baumer, Alarm, 2012
Garrett Baumer, Airlock, 2012