Bauer, originally from Michigan, lives in El Paso and teaches in the Art Department at the University of Texas at El Paso. He writes about his work:
My process of working stems from experiences gained working on a grain farm and constructing houses. Each of these activities offered fresh ‘seasonal’ opportunities and explorations into process and intent much the same way I approach a group of visual images today. They both taught me the importance of craftsmanship, planning, and a love of form building, as well as introducing a great deal of curiosity for a vast variety of materials and processes. It was during these years that I often found my visual interest being directed to the discarded or in-progress states of the farm or construction site. A pile of lumber, cement forms, and torn tar paper were often visually more engaging and compositionally more challenging than the final structure. Marks in the soil from tilling, the ritual of tedious hoeing, and half buried corn stalks in winter snow were as magical as the crop itself.
Each set of the visual works describes a searching, assembling forms, and then finding ways to disassemble or question the parts and rebuild. This process of building, destroying and rebuilding I find to be a natural cycle in both everyday life and spirituality. A reverence, along with irreverence for image making: care and disregard are both deemed necessary and promoted.