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STEPHEN BAKER: DEPTH IN SUBTLY

by Dominique Suberville

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Based in Melbourne, Australian artist Stephen Baker creates environments of escapism with simplicity and restraint. It is through his use of geometric, mostly female, figures and seemingly plain landscapes that he is able to describe human nuance at its best. His use of bold lines and limited colour palette, sets the scene for calm worlds where his figures take on quiet but intentional poses that describe desirable and familiar moments. His first solo exhibition in Sydney’s Meat Market this year, is an easy example of how he’s successful at this. “Moonshine” used pinks and blues to offer depth and meaning to the moments where his figures live in during the day and night. His ability to create artworks that offer viewers meaning through little information is what gives Baker an edge in minimalist painting.


While Baker’s work is mainly on canvas, he has taken these worlds elsewhere through installation and small scale sculpture. His public and private wall installations describe life to those the walk by them. In a fast paced world, his installations offer different habitable spaces which we must stop and admire in order to imagine ourselves in them. Contrary to that, his geometric figure sculptures seem to have jumped off his paintings to inhabit our world, accentuating these moment of “desired escape” that we all live. While his work continues to be bold in it’s aesthetic, it is the gentle gestures of his figures in their habitats that move us in unexpected and subtle ways.



Basado en la ciudad de Melbourne, el artista australiano Stephen Baker crea espacios de escapismo a través del minimalismo y moderación. Es con el uso de la figura femenina geometrizada y paisajes planos que logra describir la sutilidad de la condición humana. Con líneas marcadas y una paleta limitada, monta escenas de mundos llenos de calma donde sus figuras se encuentran viviendo momentos comunes pero deseables. Su primer exposición individual en Meat Market en la ciudad de Sydney es un buen ejemplo de como es exitoso en lograr su objetivo. La serie de “Moonshine” ofrece profundidad y significado a través del uso de tonalidades rosas y azules para expresar momentos que se viven durante el día y noche. Su habilidad para crear obras que ofrecen significado con poca información es lo que le dá a Baker una ventaja en la técnica minimalista.


Mientras Baker se reconoce por su pintura, ha logrado transferir sus paisajes y figuras a la instalación y escultura. Sus instalaciones en espacios públicos y privados describen la vida humana a aquellos que se atraviesan con ellas. En un mundo acelerado, estas ofrecen distintos espacios cuales debe uno detenerse para admirar e imaginarse dentro de ellas. Por otro lado, sus esculturas de figuras femeninas parecen haber salido del canvas y entrado a nuestro mundo, acentuando los momentos de “escapismo deseable” que todos vivimos. Mientras su obra mantiene una estética marcada y minimalista, es con la sutilidad de sus personajes que su obra nos mueve de manera inesperada.


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