Jim Bauer is a self-taught artist who lives in Northern California. His robot-like sculptures are made from kitchen items and hardware including coffee pots, irons and sprinkler heads. They often include electric lights that shine through colored lenses, and there is at least one that has a working telephone in its chest cavity. Bauer haunts flea markets, thrift stores and recycling depots in search of aluminum detritus. Discovering the occasional hardware store close-out sale is ecstasy. A former teapot and kettle salesman, Bauer is prone to reciting the model numbers and dates of the component parts of his creatures. He has also been an auto mechanic, and a researcher at Kaiser Aluminum.
A true “aluminum enthusiast,” Bauer creates knights that march in and out of his life like so many metallic androids. He dreams them up, assembles them, and sends them off to delight and amuse the rest of us. Appropriately, Bauer’s creatures are created in an Airstream trailer that functions as his studio.
Bauer’s unforgettable creatures have been seen around town, guarding a coffee shop or peering out from store windows. The American Primitive Gallery in New York, Northern California’s Natsoulis Gallery, and The Ames Gallery often have those pieces that are available for sale.
[ View works by Jim Bauer — prices range from $900 to $2,900 ]