Location: United States
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 two books, his 2012 retrospective Gods for Future Religions: Surreal Sculpture and a photo book, El Paso: A Hoverview which is in over one hundred libraries. Ho has published a satirical newspaper, "The El Paso Lampoon," he's had photo exhibits, 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 has served on the City of El Paso Public Art Committee and the board of the Texas Society of Sculptures.
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."
Bronze 84x28x36 on permanent display at The American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD
Recently my passion turned to sculptural assemblages. I’m uniting doll parts with locally sourced tree roots. Dolls are models of us, and the whirls and limbs of tree roots are reminiscent of human lines and appendages. Symbolically, the aesthetic merging is a logical union since we, like trees, are organic and share the cycle of life.
Some of my dolls are availabale on Etsy, https://www.etsy.com/people/hobarone