Charming Baker’s three-day show at Milk Studios in Hollywood, Los Angeles, marks a high point in what has been an extraordinary journey for the East London artist. Five years ago he was living in a council flat, with five children and no professional experience. Now he has sell-out shows in London and New York under his belt and his work is selling for more than £150,000.
The artist’s largest show to date explored the unpredictable nature of love through 20 paintings, as well as an over-sized sculptural installation of a plastic toy aeroplane, prints, and sculptures. Baker’s works were displayed in stark simplicity in a huge hanger-like building. In an interview with the BBC, Baker explained, “It’s not a moving film, it’s not a piece of music that you have to play. It’s just one still image. It doesn’t need lighting, it’s not an installation that needs electricity, it’s the most basic form of self expression. It’s just a painting, a picture on a flat surface.”
The VIP opening preview was attended by big names from the art world, including LACMA’s Abby Bankster, MOCA’s Director of Communications Lyn Winter, The Gasgosian Gallery’s Candy Coleman, and Hammer Museum’s David Morehouse. Fellow artists RETNA, Bumblebee, Quam Odunsi, Nicholas Bowers, and Mear1 were also in attendance, as well as celebrities including Rosamund Pike, Rose Mcgowan, Atticus Ross, and Davey Havok.
artrepublic artist Russell Marshall attended the highly anticipated preview and generously sent us this insider scoop -
“BRITISH artist Charming Baker turned LA upside down last night... Along with a gigantic model airplane - the centrepiece of his latest show - Lie down I think I love you. Baker's largest exhibition to date fills LAs Milk Studios with 20 new paintings, unique sculptures and limited edition prints.
Centre stage is 'Love's Revolution' a massive sculptural piece that takes the form of a 28 foot child's toy airplane inverted - a motive repeated in snow globe, canvas and print format.
Baker's new paintings are simply stunning. The canvas and oil board works run with a familiar Baker theme of retro wallpaper designs behind incongruous foreground images but with an added depth and energy.
Baker's work explores well trodden and intrinsically linked themes; love, life, death, terror, joy and despair with a dark sense of humour and evokes the memory of eerie childhood dreams.
As with Baker's previous London and New York shows, most of the major pieces sold out before the show even opened. And with collectors including Damien Hirst, Alberto Mugrabi, Frank Cohen, Harry Blain and Sir Paul Smith this achievement only goes to further cement Baker's status as one of Britain's leading contemporary artists.”
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