ARTIST:

Kristin Baker

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Kristin Baker
Kurtoplac Kurve, 2004
Acrylic on PVC
304.8 x 609 cm

For Kristin Baker the act of painting is analogous to speedway racing: the dual pursuits for the pinnacle of excellence conjoining as parallel “coliseums” of chance and glory. Drawing relations to the commodified spectacle of sport, Baker’s Kurtoplac Kurve replicates the industrial design of the racetrack in its making. Rendered on panels mounted on a bleacher-like support, its curved structure mirrors a hairpin turn. Built up in a series of stencilled layers, Baker rarely paints with a traditional brush, but rather a combination of spray gloss and spatula sign-painting techniques, mimicking both billboard advertising and body shop finishes; her resulting abstraction draws reference to both modernism and consumer spectacle

Kristin Baker
Ride The Lightning, 2003
Acrylic on PVC
259.1 x 304.8 cm

Kristin Baker’s Ride The Lightning uses abstraction as a parallel for action. Inspired by motor racing culture, Baker’s work conveys all the dynamism of this macho arena: greasy, dirty, violent, and infinitely sexy. Painted on PVC, her ultra-sleek surface exudes both power and breakdown. Embedding stylised and graphic forms within a grid-like pattern, Baker references both cubism and futurism. Each square containing the charge of a freeze-frame explosion, haloed by dispersing clouds of light and smoke, Baker captures the unequivocal sensation of a single moment as a lingering, reverberated energy.

Kristin Baker
Excide Batteries Beer a Sphere, 2003
Acrylic on PVC
244 x 304.8 cm

Painted on PVC, Kirsten Baker’s Excide Batteries Beer a Sphere reworks the plastic associations of media spectacle with painterly flourish. Applied with scrapers and palette knives instead of brushes Baker’s colours slide over the ultra smooth surface in transparent blurs and crystalline shapes, conveying the thunderous energy of stadium sport with both jubilance and trepidation. Grounds of electrifying pink and green become devoured and tarnished by greasy greys and dark oily clouds, fragmenting the scene into refractive prisms reminiscent of the sanctified aura of stained glass.

Kristin Baker
The Unfair Advantage, 2003
Acrylic on PVC
152.4 x 274.3 cm

Using formalist abstraction reminiscent of Moholy-Nagy or Malevich, Baker’s The Unfair Advantage updates ideas of technology and painting. Through carefully balanced composition, geometric shards of colour hover in freeze-framed motion, and diffused translucent puddles read as lens flare, explosions, and gaseous haloes. Balancing the illusions of hard-edged solidity and the weightlessness of light, Baker creates a spatial deception implicative of film or digital media. Working with industrial materials and sign painting techniques Baker’s process fuses artistic engagement with mass media asserting futuristic ethos.

Kristin Baker
The Raft Of Perseus, 2006
Acrylic on PVC
255.3 x 406.4 cm (in 2 panels)

In The Raft Of Perseus, Kirstin Baker’s subject changes from car racing to Greek mythology, though the connotations to abstract painting remain the same: adventure and risk translating to the stuff of legend. Picturing Perseus’s banished raft thrashing amidst the raging sea, Baker’s work operates as an analogy for the loneliness and heroism of artistic pursuit. Rendered in the pastoral blues and golds of religious painting, Baker captures the essence of challenge and success with stylised flourish. The solid geometric beams of the raft float in contrast to the water’s organic currents and the translucent light of the sky, creating a sense of staidness in the turbulent motion.

Kristin Baker
Big Bang Vroom, 2003
Acrylic on PVC
243.8 x 304.8 cm

Kirstin Baker’s Big Bang Vroom revamps the glamour of motor sport as a composition of eloquent design. Using the mimetic qualities of paint, greys smear and sputter across her smooth PVC surface replicating the burnt rubber of skidding tires and swells of tarry smoke. Baker juxtaposes these spontaneous gestures against the meticulous graphics of the abstracted car and grandstand, accentuating the tension between precision, control, speculation, and danger.
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