Thursday, February 24, 2011

Art Practical: Richard Baker

Richard Baker
"The Air-Conditioned Nightmare"
Gouache on paper
12 x 10.5 inches

My write-up of artist Richard Baker's gouache portraits of books is included in the most recent issue of Art Practical, an online magazine focused on the Bay Area's visual arts. The short piece appears in AP's Shotgun Reviews department. Read it here.

An element of Baker's work that I don't mention in the AP review is its special relevance to San Francisco; the artist's selection of titles and authors highlights the city's rich literary history. Happily, the town remains chock-a-block with neighborhood bookstores and reader-friendly cafes. Yet Kindles, iPads, and conversations about "the death of print media" abound. Indeed, even we bibliophiles find ourselves doing more (if not most) of our reading on electronic devices. Soon, our cherished libraries and bookstores may be considered the equivalent of charnel houses. If so, I'll still retreat to those tombs to touch, smell, and otherwise be with books. I'm guessing Baker will, too.

Baker's book portraits are on view at Gregory Lind Gallery through February 26th.

Image credit: courtesy Gregory Lind Gallery

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