Selected works by Baker Overstreet

Baker Overstreet
Glazed Gas Gangs Gas And Gimp Gump

2006-2007

Acrylic on canvas

121.9 x 151.1cm

Influenced by tribal and folk art, Baker Overstreet envisions a primitive abstraction reflective of contemporary zeitgeist. In totemic compositions of bold colour and stylised patterning Overstreet develops his own painterly lexicon comprised of personal symbolism and gesture. Through their atavistic formalism, Overstreet’s symmetrical arrangements create deceptive pictorial fields: Rough scrawled lines and blocks of vibrant hue evoke fleeting suggestions
of figurative or architectural form, creating moments of recognition only to be devoured by the urgency of the paintings’ surfaces.

Baker Overstreet
Dirty Piller's Beauty Bumps

2006-2007

Acrylic on canvas

196.2 x 168.3 cm

Using abstraction as a means to negotiate between this internalized and externalised perception, Overstreet’s paintings evolve as contemplative planes of contradiction. Thick gooey swatches of impasto are juxtaposed with wandering drips, hurried markmaking, and defined geometric forms. Areas of patchy tincture battle to dominate their visible under-painting, while tonal perspective is skewed, as each individual shape tries to extrapolate itself from the flatness of the picture plane. Overstreet’s paintings evolve as instinctive and raw sentiments; eliciting a faux-naïve charisma his paintings bridge the gulf between primordial ritual and modern excess.

Baker Overstreet
Faberge Luvas

2006-2007

Acrylic on canvas

147.3 x 172.7cm

Overstreet’s Faberge Luvas broaches glamour and mystery with crudely rendered gusto. Roughly approximating a grand hall interior with thick textured brushwork in purple and orange,
Overstreet’s canvas operates as a stage set for narrative and painterly action. Setting two African shield-like forms against a garishly painted background, a band of dirty pink secures the
surface’s flatness while the central diamond shape forces an awkward perspective. Looming over the scene, a Masonic emblem infuses all with secretive mystical authority.

Baker Overstreet
Hot Mic

2006-2007

Acrylic on canvas

119.4 x 101.6 cm

Conveying undertones of Art Brut, outsider art, and graffiti, Overstreet’s large scale canvases offer contemporary ‘folk’ painting as something equally primitive and commercial. In Hot Mic, his deistic figure stands with the frivolous authority of a logo, a self-styled brand of carnivalesque dumbness. Rendered in bigtop red, white, and green, the trippy patterning blares mesmerizingly against a ground of layered and shifting blacks, giving the painting’s benign motif a sinister dimension.

Baker Overstreet
Top Hat ISO Bottom Fatty

2006

Acrylic on canvas

105.4 x 105.4 cm
Baker Overstreet
Flattering Turtleneck

2006

Acrylic on canvas

163 x 163 cm

Overstreet’s casual painting style belies an astounding authority and confidence. His solidly balanced compositions and fluid showoff gestures create precarious illusions where imagination and form meet. In Flattering Turtleneck a stylised portrait dissembles into contrasting associations to billboard signage, aboriginal hieroglyphs, and decorative patterning, flaunting Overstreet’s expansive lexicon of painterly vernacular.

Baker Overstreet
Tuff Titties

2007

Latex and acrylic on canvas

101.6 x 101.6 cm
Baker Overstreet
Alibaster Plaster Caster

2008

Acrylic and latex on canvas

132.1 x 170.2 cm

Using painting as a platform for wild invention, Overstreet’s Alibaster Plaster Caster dazzles with its Technicolor efficiency. Evoking a sort of psychedelic machine, acid hued geometric
shapes assert their form and function, each a vital component in the tightly balanced arrangement. As chunky blocks of primary tones anchor the scene, zippy stripes and motley dots refute gravity, giving Overstreet’s cumbrous futurism a sense of neon weightlessness.

Baker Overstreet
The Continental Bathosphere

2008

Acrylic and latex on canvas

157.5 x 121.9 cm

Overstreet’s The Continental Bathosphere maps out a crazy architecture. Rendered with all the gaudiness of a casino, his composition’s impossible physics are precariously founded over a
heavily built up surface. As planes of colour approximate flatness over the remnants of drafts beneath, their raffish tones compete for spatial dominance by reverberating in and out of depth,
furthering the disorientating effect of Overstreet’s topsy-turvy perspective.


Articles

BAKER OVERSTREET: FOLLIES, BY CRAIG OLSON, FREDERICKS & FREISER AUGUST 26-OCTOBER 4, 2008


There’s something buried in these paintings, hovering at the cusp of recognition. It’s a fleeting something or other that at times appears as parody, and at others as a sincere meditation on the medium of a medium (or market gone mad?), and it hits home in both contexts. It isn’t a distanced insider’s position in the least; the sensation you get feels more like watching a dollar bill getting sucked from your fingers into a slot machine—followed by that moment of melodious idiocy as you yank down its arm.

Overstreet is a young artist who received his MFA from Yale in 2006. The paintings in this show all have a loose and crude formality. Nothing’s sloppy here. On the contrary, things are quite orderly and neat in their looseness, with aesthetic allegiances to artists like Rodney Alan Greenblat, Richard Lindner, and Alfred Jensen. The compositions are played out on black or dark gray grounds where pattern, symmetry, and a barrage of blinking colors from across the spectrum tumble into odd machine—or altar-like forms. Sometimes faces and mystic orifices shimmer forth and then fade back to rudimentary pigment on canvas. This indistinctness is paramount.

Take Overstreet’s, “The New World Symphony (For the Elite Ark),” 2008. It’s a stacked, symmetrical composition suggesting four shallow interior spaces whose exact structure is vague at best. Intermittent, wobbly groups of dots play around the painting’s clashing perspectival cul-de-sacs and blocks of loosely articulated hues. The composition straddles the thin line between formality and informality, grace and vulgarity, meaning and meaninglessness so effortlessly that it keeps me anchored, with the shelf wheels and coin chutes of the mind reeling and ringing, playing the odds of our cumulative experiences.

Source: brooklynrail.org


BAKER OVERSTREET


Baker Overstreet's paintings rely on an aesthetic that is rooted in folk and primitive arts. He employs unbalanced symmetry and ornamental patterning to make emblematic compositions that define human or architectural figures while subverting familiar form. This inherent contradiction (between the familiar and unfamiliar, the worldly and other worldly) creates a space where individual elements clash.

The resulting phenomenon allows for an altered state where the specificity of an image gives way to something open and universal. These paintings are a record of that shared commonality.

Source: fredericksfreisergallery.com