I first saw Charming Baker’s work on the Cgunit online gallery and immediately fell in love with the collision of decorative and figurative in his paintings. Of course his name has nothing to do with it but does add a certain… bonding.
Acidolatte featured him this week prompting me to revisit his site. I’m glad they did otherwise I would have missed the announcement via his blog of a new show “Everything must go” starting July 8th in Covert Garden. His star seems to be rising. His quiet self-promotion through social media may be about to spill over into the mainstream; gaining notoriety of his use of shotgun as paintbrush. The paintings stand strong regardless of gimmick, so grab this chance to view his work before it becomes dispersed in galleries and maybe catch his printers producing some prints live.
(Chen Chieh–Jen) Rebirth I – Twelve Karmas Under the City | (Cleon Peterson) We Become What We Are 2
Seeing Clarity Haynes painting series “Breasts” struck an immediate chord, the internet proliferates with images of bared flesh, but the vast majority falls within a narrow confine: young women. In fact if we are to be precise young white women. And this being art, what we are really talking about is naked young white women.
Cabbages are beautiful. Prompted by seeing a cabbage used in a floral display we realise a world of only red roses would be a dull place indeed. To stretch the metaphor to breaking point our media’s pages are a vellum made from perfect hot-housed petals, blemish free maybe, but devoid of perfume. Sterile. Her work readdresses the balance, presenting us with views of the other 80% of the world’s bosoms.
There is a quandary here as there exists a correlation between youth and willingness to bare flesh. Age producing confidence in self and body at a tangent it seems. This absence of images reinforcing reticence. Her paintings aim to counteract this, exposing this missing variance of beauty within our species. The Brooklyn Paper has an interview with her, where she says of portraying the stretch marks that accompany curves “People may have an initial reaction of, ‘Oh no, that’s horrible, I don’t want to see that’, but what I’m hoping is as they look, gradually, something else will come in, some sense of peace and power.”
There is a fantastic duality to it. Starting with images that resemble holiday snaps he transmutes them into poorly received broadcasts. The oil strokes looking haphazard , causally daubed on the canvas, but it belies the accuracy and control to create the illusion. He paints disruption but underneath the image holds, the brushstrokes both portraying and destroying the illusion. There is something sinister too, surveillance, distress, found video footage after the act has been perpetrated.