The Baz Essence

Written beautifully by, Karenza Yates.

Spending time with Baz to paint the picture of his artistic practice is like cracking open the humblest can of worms. With eyes lit up, he blushes with a shy excitement when I ask where his art comes from. Talking about his art elicits in him a knee jitter and an eager gasp paired with an almost intangible rambling of artist idols and creative heroes. It’s clear that his work is deeply inspired by those
who have walked before him and he earnestly carries their spirit as he creates a world of his own imagining.

I’ve been lucky enough to sit in one of the seats travelling on State Highway Baz. We have been close friends since ratbag highschool days and its been an artwork in itself to observe and participate in his obsessively creative art Journey.

Baz spends his living moments drawing the world around him, observing peacefully from a branch of the Baz tree. A perch from which he sees wisdom in ancient culture and humour in human behaviour, always with a serving of fun. His vibrant, colourful works scream quirky social conversations between grunge attitude and precious religious culture. This exact curiousity, when observed in his illustrative madness, gives clue to his way of walking the world.

Colourful characters paint the inner world of Bazman which led to the birth of the Dragon Dawg. The Dawg is a soul-styled comic vessel who shapeshifts and takes on the characteristics necessary to tell a story. They are borne by an art-heart in which their imaginative qualities are then transcended and birthed on a page, a wall, a vehicle, a street sign or a patch of dirt with flagrant personality. The flow is so immersive that one could say the Dragon-dawg is imagining Baz to life.

The Dragon-Dawgs have been guiding Baz on his path for over 10 years of drawing inspired adventures and adventure-inspired drawing. Asia’s madness is the perfect match for Bazmans OTT colour palette and assembly of worlds. Here, religion and tradition penetrate modern day superficial madness. Bazmans richly colourful, oriental observations cleverly juxtapose worlds of his own imagining, leaving us to ponder where he has been and what on earth has he seen.

The Baz Quest has taken Him from Europe to Asia, a loop-de-loop, and back again. He happily re-roots himself in his secluded beach house in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa / New Zealand. Here with a shed-studio he expresses his essence through pulling threads into larger scale artworks and ideas. Culture clash observed in his fruity pencil-work speaks to a baz-quest for oneness amongst differences. Themes that arise to transport us into his world do in fact include, transport and transformation... His characters and persons are all of global nature. People of the world-as-place - family. His work has so much to look at and there are emblematic responses to his assertion of theme everywhere.

Dragon Dawgs allow Baz’s work and understanding of life to be articulated beyond the bounds of our human experience. A need to daydream for many artists, travels BAZ interdimensionally with his pencil. Therapeutically this sends him journeying through spaces, places and feelings which allow a lifelong drawing practice to be an integral guide for healthy mental skies. Life, death and goofiness. Bazman drawings, paintings and sculptures all tell the story of the way Baz sees the world, and the idioms that arise from observing life in peace and place.

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