Cara Barer

Born in 1956, lives and works in Houston, Texas, USA

American born artist Cara Barer trained at the Glassell School of Art and the San Francisco Art Institute. Now living in Texas she uses old phone books, computer manuals, maps, and comic books to create hypnotic sculptures, which she then memorializes through her photographs. Cara Barer visually documents the way in which society has come to retrieve information by changing a common reference book into a work of sculpture and photographing the outcome. In her experimentation with curling irons, clothes pins and water, Barer transforms volumes of information into coiled, crumpled objects of beauty.

Her works are part of several permanent collections, including Bloomingdale’s (New York), Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), UCLA Special Collection (California). Her works have been collected in the editorial project entitled ‘The Book’s Story’ which was recently published.

“Sculpting segued to thoughts on obsolescence and the relevance of libraries in this century… The way we choose to research and find information is in an evolution. I hope to raise questions about these changes, the ephemeral and fragile nature in which we now obtain knowledge and the future of books”



With a deep interest in travel, maps and guide books have been a part of Barer’s love for reference and printed information materials.

Barer calls attention to the map, it’s increasing obsolescence, and how it is being abandoned for smart phones with a map app or a vehicle equipped with GPS for directions to find one’s location.

 “When I’m traveling I truly don’t feel that I know where I am unless I can see my location on a printed map. It gives me a secure feeling that I will never have from an electronic source.”