Ho Baron was born in Chicago in 1941 and raised in El Paso, Texas on the Mexican border. Baron earned a BA and MA in English, writing his Master's thesis on Joyce Cary's concept of the "artist as child," a guiding theme he still abides by. A stint in the Peace Corps in Nigeria and Ethiopia further sparked his creative spirit as he grew intrigued with primitive, intuitive African art. He settled in Antwerp, Belgium in 1970, where he worked as the photographer for a cartoonists" collective. In the late 70's, Baron returned to the United States and studied sculpture, first at the Philadelphia College of Art and later at the University of Texas. He had earned a second master's degree in library science along the way and worked part time as a college librarian allowing him free time for his creative endeavors.
Ho grew in his personal expression from writing into the visual arts: photography, pen and ink drawing, painting, print making to eventually create more than 300 narrative bronze and cast stone figures. In addition, he has published a satirical newspaper, "The El Paso Lampoon," he's had photo exhibits, he printed a photo book entitled A Hoverview, he produced a "new music" radio program for ten years on NPR, and he's created short videos of his sculpture. A long-time proponent of the arts, he served on the City of El Paso Public Art Committee 2006-2007 and is currently on the board of the Texas Society of Sculptors.
Ho's found expression in the visual arts, particularly sculpture, the most free and most gratifying. He occasionally took art courses, but he's primarily self-taught thus his expression is intuitive. Sculpture, in particular, has been his greatest passion for more than 30 years. It's the tactile aspects of it, its challenges and the varied activities involved in producing each work that holds his continued attention. His theme is of the human form, and he abstracts it with unique motifs of surreal imagery that he's developed. His sculptures seem to be water-like creatures, some say they are Asian in appearance, some say perhaps Mayan. Perhaps reflective of his travels, perhaps fantasies of his readings, they are unique and look like deities of an ancient culture pulled from a remote lagoon. Ho coins his collective works "Gods for Future Religions".
My imagery has its roots in the ancients, like the Hindu and the Mayan, and the work is archetypal in nature. The forms are primal and naive, and though brut, they are fluid and sophisticated. My creations exemplify Karl Jung's theories of the universal creative unconscious, and they are thus metaphors that emulate the mythologies and commonalities of our species.
Intuitively modeled in clay in an arduous sculptural process, the sculptures are surreal creations covered with intricate motifs. The images are odd, timeless and cosmic. My style is complex, ornate and baroque. It is tactile and visually intriguing, and the works are intended to present a bold look into the aspects of humankind, the obvious and the hidden, the haunting and the humorous. The sculptures are a play on our physical and emotional features, and though the works are titled, the names are but labels. The forms are otherworldly, their interpretations are limitless, and they lend themselves to scenario.
Representational and figurative, my themes are a product of extensive travel, a thousand ink drawings, free expression, immense deliberation, imaginative clay play and labor. The sculptures are fun and funny, satiric and whimsical, and they are dream-like visual representations of my world view. The figures are anthropomorphic creatures, they are grotesque fantastic icons, and they are "Gods for Future Religions." My sculpture is but a peak into my spectacular world, my life's work of more than 300 sculptures.
PUBLIC ART AND MUSEUM COLLECTIONS
2014 - 16 "The Distortionists," "Sculpture Art Stroll," two-year exhibition. Round Rock, TX
2010 Georgetown Sculpture Tour (Georgetown Public Library, San Gabriel Park & Georgetown Recreation Center), Georgetown, TX
2009 "One," in permanent collection, El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, TX
2009 "On the Upside Down," Peace Arch Park, one-year exhibition. Blaine, WA
2009 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Park, juried show. Austin, TX
2007 "The Distortionists," Sculpture on Main, one-year exhibition. Marble Falls, TX
2006 "A Novel Romance," on permanent exhibition, El Paso Public Library, El Paso, TX
2004 "The Free Thinker," on permanent exhibition, American Visionary Art Museum, Balt., MD
2004 "Sculpture in the Streets," one-year exhibition. Mesa, AZ
2003 "Sculpture in the Streets," one-year exhibition. Mesa, AZ
1998 "The Kid," on permanent exhibition, El Paso Museum of Archaeology, El Paso, TX
2016 "Tongue in Cheek: The Surreal Art of Ho Baron," one man show. Georgetown Art Center, Georgetown, TX.
2015 "Hollucianations," one man show. Rock House Gallery, El Paso, TX.
2010 "Gods for Future Religions," one man show. University of Texas, El Paso, TX.
2007 "Artists on Art," El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, TX
2005 "Surreal Icons," one man show. Las Cruces Museum of Art, Las Cruces, NM
1999 One man show. Ironwood Industries, Austin, TX. Marfa, TX
1997 "Masquerade," one man show. Untitled Center of the Arts, Taos, NM
1996 "Dioses del Futuro," one man show. Museo Arqueologia, Juarez, Mexico
1989 "Gods for Future Religions," one man show. Bridge Gallery, El Paso, TX
SELECTED GROUP SHOWS
2016 "In the Beginning," invitational show. Purple Gallery, El Paso, TX
2016 "20/20 Visionary," invitational show. Hal Marcus Gallery, El Paso, TX
2015 "Ho Baron and Raul Monarrez," invitational show. Honeyguide Gallery, El Paso, TX
2015 "15 for 15," invitational show. Metal Arts Village, Tucson, AZ
2015 "Art City Austin," juried show. Austin, TX
2014 "Tucson Sculpture Festival," invitational show. Tucson, AZ
2013 "A Show of Heads," juried show. Limner Gallery, Hudson, NY
2013 "Space & Movement," juried show. Dougherty Art Center, Austin, TX
2013 Texas Society of Sculptors, invitational show. Georgetown Public Library, Georgetown, TX
2013- 15 Works exhibited. Rokoko Gallery, Las Cruces, New Mexico
2013 "Mad World." Union Street Gallery, Chicago Heights, IL
2012-13 "Texas Society of Sculptors, invitational show. French Legation Museum, Austin, TX
2011-14 Works exhibited. Benini Studio & Sculpture Ranch, Johnson City, TX
2012 "SculpFest." Umlauf Sculpture Garden, Austin,TX
2012 "Inquisitive Eyes." El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, TX
2012 "Gods, Goddesses, Gurus and Gremlins." Rokoko Art Gallery, Mesilla, NM
2012 Texas Society of Sculptors, invitational show. L.A. Thompson Gallery, Clifton, TX
2011-12 Work exhibited. Hill Design & Gallery, Georgetown, TX
2011 "Life in these Texas Hills." Artisans at Rock Hill Gallery, Fredericksburg, TX
2011 "Imagination." Mills Pond House Gallery, Saint James, NY
2011 Works exhibited. Preston Contemporary Art Center, Mesilla, NM
2010 Los Paisanos Gallery, invitational show. Chamizal National Memorial, El Paso, TX
2010-12 Work exhibited. Ed Larson Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2010 "Summer 2010,"Preston Contemporary Art Center, juried show. Mesilla, NM
2010 "Assistance League of Houston Celebrates Texas Art," juried show. Houston, TX.
2010 Balcones Festival Sculpture Stroll, invitational show. Balcones Refuge, Bertram, TX.
2009 "Strange Figurations," Limner Gallery, group show. Hudson, NY
2009 Austin Galleries, juried show. Austin, TX
2009 "Sculptfest." Umlauf Sculpture Garden, Austin TX
2009 "Animal Attractions," juried show. The Fells, Newbury, NH
2009 Texas Society of Sculptors, juried show. Georgetown Public Library, Georgetown, TX
2009 Texas Society of Sculptors, juried show. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Austin, TX
2009 "1st Annual Juried Group Show." The Taos Gallery, Taos, NM
2008 Crossings Wellness Center, invitational show, one year exhibition. Austin, TX
2008 "Old Town San Diego Art Festival," juried show. San Diego, CA
2008 "Go Downtown Albuquerque Arts Festival," juried show. Albuquerque, NM
2008 "11th Annual Artfest," juried show, Best of Show Sculpture. Henderson, NV
2008 "Riverspan Sculpture Exhibition," juried show. Cincinnati, OH
2007 "Sculptor's Dominion Invitational." San Antonio, TX
2005 "New Works," three person show.People's Galley, City Hall, El Paso, TX
2004 "Out of the Ordinary," invitational show. Marcus Gallery, El Paso, TX.
2004 "Gods and Insects," two person show. Arte Loca Gallery, Bernalillo, NM
2004 "Sculptors Dominion Invitational." San Antonio, TX
2003 "Loveland Sculpture Show," invitational show. Loveland, CO
2003 Works Exhibited. Crucible Gallery and Sculpture Garden, Norman, OK
2002 "Outsider Art," invitational show. Marcus Gallery, El Paso, TX
2001 "Arts International," juried show. El Paso Art Association, El Paso, TX
2000 "E.P. Sculpture Society," invitational show. International Museum of Art, El Paso, TX
1997 "Expanded Horizons," invitational show. Marcus Gallery, El Paso, TX
1995 "Arts International," juried show, third place winner. El Paso Art Association, El Paso, TX
1995 "Artistas Fronterizos," invitational show. History Museum, Juarez, Mexico
1995 "Tombstone Show," juried show. Adobe Gallery, Cerrillos, NM
1995 "The Surreal Edge," two person show. People's Gallery, City Hall, El Paso, TX
1994 "Masks," two person show. Artspace 2300, El Paso, TX
1994 "Darkening," three person show. Dark's Art Parlour, Santa Ana, CA
1994 "Darkside," juried show. 8th Street Gallery, Albuquerque, NM
1994 "Loveland Sculpture Show," invitational show. Loveland, CO
1994 "North American Sculpture Exhibition," juried show. Foothills Art Center, Golden, CO
1994 "Folk, Tribal, Contemporary Inspirations," juried show. Perry House Galleries, Alexandria, VA
1993 "Sculpture Walk," juried show. Sedona, AZ
1993 "Summer Salon," invitational show. Spirit Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
1989 "U.S. Consulate Exhibition," invitational show. Juarez Institute of Fine Arts, Juarez, Mexico