Artist StatementI am Brian C. Baker, an artist born and raised in Baltimore. I have inherited from four known generations of artists, draftsmen, and craftsmen, a genetic talent and its direct inspiration. My large body of work documents my personal transformation, especially that from a rebellious reactionary into being inwardly driven to express consciously the creative, divine omnipresence. My imagery comes from dreams and mystic visions as well as extensive research into sacred traditions. I depict these in mix media, often larger than life size, figurative paintings, whose compositions intertwine symbols chosen to illustrate the transcendental unity of ancient civilization and contemporary world culture. These themes are explored within my other art forms including drawing, collage, conceptual, writing, music, experimental performance, assemblage installation and some sculpture. My process involves layering traditional and experimental techniques, capturing fantasy rendered realistically in oil, acrylic, and collage with a strong graffiti element. I am trained in realistic drawing and power color theory since high school, as well as having developed a unique graphic style. Sometimes I will see a piece through in a matter of days or weeks, however I work almost daily on many canvases simultaneously and usually for months at a time, until I feel one has reached completion. Many of my works will remain untouched for years until a spark of insight allows me to finish it.
My most pivotal piece was developed out of a year of intense confrontation with the wholly other (numinous). it depicts Dattatreya, the Hindu trinity holding Jesus Christ in a Pieta like form, surrounded by spirits, saints, and concepts of the immaterial god from several faiths. Elaborately planned in drawings and finally upon a mural size canvas, through phases of psychological chaos and a struggle to rebuild order, it represents the gathering of my spiritual experiences, conceived as one message and mission of faith and art.