Transcendental Boutique, combines seemingly disparate objects and mediums into a poetic whole. Ordinary items like hang tags become a female figure; plant roots metamorphose into a photographically intricate yet mesmerizing abstract image; an ordinary dress pattern becomes a body part artistically manipulated on Chinese silk.
Francis Baker's show 'Transcendental Boutique,' combines seemingly disparate objects and mediums into a poetic whole. Ordinary items like hang tags become a female figure; plant roots metamorphose into a photographically intricate yet mesmerizing abstract image; an ordinary dress pattern becomes a body part artistically manipulated on Chinese silk.
Baker graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a degree in physics. He's a self-taught artist whose first creative instrument was a Kodak 110 camera acquired in adolescence. Never ignoring his skill to mix chemicals for the most ideal photographic image, Baker's talent is that he balances aesthetic with conceptual and technical processes. He combines science with art, art with intellect, intellect with beauty and then back again. Baker is a painter, photographer, sculpture and philosopher all in one.
At first glance, Baker's works appear an artist's hodge-podge. Yet double meaning exists everywhere you look. Themes of confinement versus freedom, mind over matter, transitory versus permanence and the notion of the beautiful entwine in an art-conscious and well-composed web.
'I am contained by my thoughts, by patterns set up from concepts, grown from fundamental structuring such as societal living; the notion of prosperity or beauty.' Baker is the first to admit that his works often address personal issues. He explains his patterns series (vintage clothing patters manipulated and overlayed with real-life photographic images) as a means to express his struggle to mature in his own body without comparing it to others. Other patterns created from leaves and hang tags represent how society has choices and the ability to break habits, ultimately working conditioned patterns out.
For Baker, imagination and technical skill go hand in hand. A definitive statement comes neither at the beginning nor end. Rather, meaning evolves with each piece. Baker often writes about his pieces as a means 'to work it out.' For him, the 'in betweens' are as important as the end result.
Baker's images are beautiful to the eye. At the same time, one cannot ignore the detailed processes that go into Baker's works. His series are not only layered within themselves but find compliments in one another. Baker's works are stories within stories. Intricate and ornamental, composed and produced, Baker's works exhibit flair, beauty and virtue. In Baker's works, we experience the imaginative and original but cannot ignore the question: at what point does desire end? Baker is a battery of genius, both visual and mental.
'Transcendental Boutique' shows 30 to 40 of Baker's works from 1998 to present at Locura Gallery in downtown San Francisco. The gallery is located at 410 Jessie Street between Market and Mission. An opening artist reception will be held Thursday, June 24th from 6 to 10 pm. The show runs through July 22nd. For further information see www.ilocuragallery.com.
Locura, spacio-temporal gallery, seeks out emerging, avant-garde artists. It was established in 2002 by part-time filmmaker, Lisamarie Inesi.
Locura's roving gallery concept breaks conventional notions of the gallery as fixed space. This "gallery in transit" concept allows Locura to be part and
parceled out to different venues from one avant-garde artist to the next. Locura is unique because it is portable. Although based in San Francisco, Locura circulates and roams, aiming more to offer artists the opportunity to exhibit rather than be defined or restricted by limitations of a more permanent domain.
Thursday, June 24th
6:00pm - 10:00pm
410 Jessie Street
San Francisco, Ca.