For his 'Second-Hand series Maarten Baas created a series of unique assemblages where each individual object relinquished its initial function in favor of a new, unexpected one; a chair becomes a bookcase, a lampshade becomes a vase, a violin a coat rack. The handcrafted series were made from salvaged components (chairs, lamps, side tables) which Baas found at local second hand shops. Franck Bragigand, a French artist known for painting found products and buildings, including the Droog headquarters in Amsterdam, collaborated with Baas by painting the surfaces of the piece, thereby unifying the assemblage into a complete work.
Much of Baas' work reveals a preoccupation with pre-existing objects, their history and the theme of ready-mades in design. Replete with character and humor, there is a raw and imperfect quality to the 'Second-Hand' series. The seemingly haphazard and improvised arrangement presents a fresh and liberating approach to design while also promoting reuse of materials and a reinterpretation of function.
In 2002, for his graduation show at the Design Academy, Baas presented the 'Smoke' series in which he set ablaze old tables and chairs and then covered the fragile charcoal surface with epoxy. Building on this immediate, early success, Baas has become one of the most recognized talents of his generation in The Netherlands. His work is included in the permanent collections of both the Groningen Museum and the Stedelijk Museum.