Mark Baugh-Sasaki

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Mark’s studio is in a converted garage in Hayes Valley. It’s dusty, cluttered, and dimly lit. At first glance it’s hard to tell what might be artwork— coming in from the sunny street into the cool, shadowy garage all I could see was a bramble of branches in a corner, an assortment of rough-hewn forms made from wood and metal, and a stack of dried up palm fronds. I looked about; squinting, letting my eyes adjust, not yet ready to ask questions. Upon closer inspection Mark’s work becomes more explicit, and all the commonplace objects and raw scraps of materials converge to reveal a distinctive point of view.

Mark makes sculptural work that combines organic and manufactured materials that draw attention to the ever-evolving dynamic between natural and industrial systems. Though his pieces are composed from familiar and basic elements such as stone, steel, and wood that he’s found on outings to the mountains, the desert, and defunct industrial sites, in completion they take on an almost mythical quality— they become unicorn-like creations; only partially knowable, elusive, avoidant of total capture.

These composite works are a meditation on the complexity and nuances of our hybridized landscapes, where the natural and man-made collide, merge, and metamorphosize one another. There’s playfulness and whimsy in the work, but interestingly when discussing it Mark hinted at no humor; his tone was sincere, deliberate and he was full of earnest musings and explanations. But because his materials dictate so much of the outcome and preclude fixed strategies, Mark’s process relies heavily on intuition, which is often a wonderfully wayward thing, leading to diversion and unexpected possibility.  – From a profile of Mark on InTheMake.com

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