Adam Baker’s Intimate Surrealism: A Visual Exploration
Litro Magazine, January 10, 2024
Adam Baker: Green grass dancing (Copyright © Adam Baker, courtesy of Schlomer Haus Gallery, 2023)
Adam Baker observes the world with a realist’s precision, yet his artwork emerges as a mesmerizing blend of surrealism. His latest exhibition, “Passing through the Soft Storm,” is a masterful interplay of the intimate and the dreamlike, drawing inspiration from Van Gogh’s pointillist sky interpretations and PaJaMa’s organic, staged scenes.
Baker’s art is a romantic exploration of land and sea, where the natural and the surreal converge. His canvases often feature bare human figures set against backgrounds where the sands morph into beds, and the sea transforms into a martini-sipping haven, challenging traditional concepts of comfort and relaxation. His inspiration springs from everyday sights – the graffiti, architecture, and birds he encounters, especially during his bicycle rides home. In “Passing through the Soft Storm,” Baker dives deep into the themes of landscape appreciation and human connection.
Originally from Ipswich in Suffolk, Baker’s early years were marked by long hours of drawing, a creative outlet he attributes to his experiences with dyslexia and ADHD. He says, “Image making was my mode of expression, bypassing the need for words.” His artistic journey led him to the Wimbledon College of Art in London, where he graduated in 2015. His work probes the essence of human existence and delves into LGBTQ issues.
Adam Baker: Negroni on the beach (Copyright © Adam Baker, courtesy of Schlomer Haus Gallery, 2023)
“Passing through the Soft Storm” is not just a visual feast but also a testament to the restorative power of art. Baker credits a recent trip with friends for significantly influencing this series. The artworks, though inspired by specific trip scenes, evoke a nostalgic sentimentality for past holidays and moments spent with loved ones. Baker’s creative process involves capturing images of friends, family, and lovers in various settings, which he then sketches, photocopies, and manipulates with color. He works with a gritty marble dust gesso mix, layering and altering his pieces to bring the underlying images to light, allowing them to ‘sit and stew’ until he gains a fresh perspective.
The exhibition showcases Baker’s skill in melding the observational acuity of a naturalist with the imaginative flair of a surrealist. “Creating work in the context of a show unlocks the poetic aspects of my practice,” he remarks. With “Passing through the Soft Storm” now concluded, Baker is already envisioning his next project, continuing to inspire in the digital world and reminding us of the unique discoveries made when we step away from the familiar.
“Passing through the Soft Storm” was featured at the Schlomer Haus Gallery in the winter of 2023. A wider collection of Baker’s works from the series can be viewed online.