This photograph is of a group of rental cabins at a KOA campsite called Kamping Kabins. I photographed them from the edge of a large interstate during a snowstorm. The fact that these cabins are so close to a busy road makes them not as quaint as they seem in the picture. The desire to stay in rustic Old West-style lodging fascinates me, as does the compromise made by staying in ones right next to a road full of cars and trucks speeding by. Kamping Kabins is from my project Search For The American Landscape, which looks at the relationship humans have with nature; specifically, the conflict between our inherent love of nature, our desire to alter it and our need to take from it. These images were inspired by photographic surveyors such as Timothy O'Sullivan and Carlton Watkins, who explored and documented the land and settlements in the Old West by photographing landscapes not only for their beauty but also as a record of places that few people had seen before. My photographs, however, are of landscapes that have experienced human exploration and the subsequent impact from the growing demand for convenience and natural resources. The contrast between the original landscape and what has been added, displaced or taken away is both interesting and disturbing. Such changes not only alter our experience in these places, but have also transformed the landscape itself.
Jen Bekman Gallery in New York, where he had his debut solo show, Sweet Water, in 2008. Other exhibitions include Mixtape at Jen Bekman Gallery, in 2009; In Search of the Magnificent at the CCNY Art Gallery, in 2009; You Might Find Yourself at the Ice Box at Philadelphia's Crane Arts, in 2008; The Interactive Landscape at Mt. Tremper Arts, in New York, in 2007; and Hey, Hot Shot! Ne Plus Ultra 2007 Annual and Hey, Hot Shot! 2006 Spring Showcase at Jen Bekman Gallery. In 2008, Baguskas was named a PDN 30, one of the top 30 emerging photographers by Photo District News, and was a winner of Magenta's Flash Forward award for emerging photographers. He was also nominated for the KLM Paul Huf Award. In 2007, he was honored as one of four finalists for the Aperture Portfolio Prize, and was a winner of the Ne Plus Ultra, Hey, Hot Shot! Annual. Baguskas' work has been published in Theme, Flash Forward - Emerging Photographers 2008, Culture + Travel, Next American City, Photo Art, Avenue L and Photo District News. Traveling extensively with 4x5 and 6x7 film cameras, Baguskas continues to make photographs based on ideas about modern exploration and travel in the West. Ian has also spent some time in South Korea working on his projects Sansaram, which follows the hiking culture throughout the country, and Haenyo, which documents the dying tradition of the female divers on Jeju Island.