Artist Stephen Baker has been recently collecting high-end fashion magazines to use as elements in his boldline and block-coloured paintings. Based in Melbourne, this Australian artist is known for his depictions of the human form in its natural environment. Details are stripped back, colour palettes are constructed, and only the bare essential shapes are left to describe the scenes.
The ‘Cover Shots’ collection is an exploration using magazines as a found object to paint directly onto. Applying the paint straight to the cover stock, these new representations eliminate the distinctive physical characteristics of the models. It has become quite routine for the artist to collect the magazines weekly and reevaluate the cover image with his signature style.
Working from a small studio in the Melbourne suburb of Collingwood, Baker sketches, paints and creates a world of colour and geometric forms. Using the surrounding street life as inspiration for many of his works, it’s not uncommon to see figures slumped over bars or shooting pool at the local pub.
A prevalent thread of escapism can be noted throughout Baker’s work. A need for distraction from possible unpleasant realities could be the motivation for most of the figures in his paintings. Aptly, his solo show entitled ‘After Hours’ at Modern Times last year focused heavily on one’s relaxation activities after a hard day’s work.
Always inspired by the hustle and bustle of life around him, Baker has taken to painting large street walls, hoping to document and display the rituals of the day. Much like a modern take on Egyptian hieroglyphics, these colourful murals depict the people and life in the surrounding areas.