‘Head I’ by Aaron Robert Baker
Artist: Aaron Robert Baker
Title: ‘Head I’
Medium: Archival ballpoint pen on paper
Dimensions: 13″ x 11″
Framing: Framed (frame size: 15.25″ x 13.25″)
Year of Creation: 2021
About the Artwork:
“Both of these works are from a series called Heads. I give all of the drawings in the series the same title, Head, as a nod to the systematic process I use to make them. I use the same egg-shape outline for each one, alternating it so that the wide part is on the top for one drawing and then on the bottom for the next one. They’re all the same size. I use a pencil to draw circles and lines inside the outline until something resembling a face starts to emerge.
I usually only have a vague idea of what I want to do, and sometimes no idea at all, so I just see where the process takes me. Once I have a basic structure in place, I switch to my pen and start stippling. This is actually where most of the decisions happen. I allow the dots, and how they look as they accumulate, to determine whether a shape is on top, underneath, concave, convex, etc. The plan, if there is one, often changes significantly along the way.” – Aaron Baker
About the Artist:
Aaron Robert Baker was born in the Allegheny Mountains of western Pennsylvania in 1972. The youngest in a tribe of restless people, he wandered through Michigan, Ohio, Nevada and numerous Texas towns before settling in Chicago, IL, with his wife and son.
He received his BFA from The University of North Texas and his MFA from The University of Nevada Las Vegas, where he studied under influential art critic Dave Hickey. When he was in the second grade, his teacher told his parents that he had drawn a cheeseburger really well and they should enroll him in art classes. He has been an artist ever since.
Baker’s work explores the fine line between the beautiful and the grotesque. Interested in finding artifice in nature, he creates organic forms with obsessive patterns and mark-making, hard-edged shapes and synthetic colors. He loves the performative side of art and sees his works as hopeful, little creatures that are full of dreams and are looking for their chance to shine.
His process involves a combination of systems and chance. Typically working in the same size and format and with a limited visual vocabulary, he layers circles, lines, drips and dots until something unexpected and interesting emerges.