Jimmy Baker was featured on B/D in 2009 back when his work consisted mainly of realistically rendered portraits. Since then, his paintings have dramatically changed and, as of recently, moved away from direct representation – from photorealistic landscapes on slick resin coated surfaces from 2010-2011, to abstract figuration using oil and UV ink on canvas.
Baker draws from various contemporary media, mashing news, government conspiracies and political events with celebrity and social media dribble. His process of creating “synthesized content” is researched and extremely labor intensive; as described in an interview with Cincinnati Magazine:
“…you paint a rendering of a digitized sketch, then print a digital image over the painting, then paint the digital print that’s on top of the painting that is itself a version of the original digital image.”
His process sounds rigid, and induces one to envision a cold, obsessively constructed piece, but improvised, thick, painterly strokes contradict this notion.
The contents of the work appear identifiable in parts, but attempts to mentally construct from them a whole proves difficult due to the pieces’ alternating, detailed layers; the fleeting glimpse of recognition compels one to further inquiry.