Dan Baldwin: Dead Innocent Exhibition
Dan Baldwin’s only UK exhibition this year, Dead Innocent, a much anticipated collection of new paintings, ceramics and installations, is now showing at the Forster Gallery in East London.
HAVING enjoyed phenomenal acclaim amongst critics and collectors, Dan has spent the past year away from the art world’s gaze, creating a new body of work with images and references borrowed from popular culture, art, religious and political history.
From the symbolic 17th century Vanitas painters, to political paintings of the ’60s by Rauschenberg and Johns, to skate graphics, eBay and aerosols, Baldwin’s influences span the centuries. His dynamic canvases often combine elements of painting, collage, appliqué and printing and give insight to his personal approach as an artist. His works resonate with his thought process and activity, his obsessive layering of paint, print and objects, religious artefacts and rare knick-knacks cohabit in fantastical arenas, where Christ can exist alongside Hitler, whilst birds and butterflies keep score.
“I love the contradictions,” he says. “It’s always about balance. There’s always a balance and harmony between life and death and beauty; yet they evoke certain feelings and open up suggestions and arguments between the elements. I want the beauty to draw the viewer in, the colour, the surface, the narrative between the elements, but also the juxtapositioning of the elements to create a fresh evocative energy – be it childlike or sinister or both.”
Baldwin’s works can be surprising, shocking even, but also humorous. There is an uneasy democracy between his subjects; the realisation that each figure is reduced by the digestion and regurgitation of our popular culture and has become diluted and impotent is as shocking as their narrative.
Baldwin has exhibited widely across the UK and abroad over the last 10 years, including Miami, Basel and New York. His work has featured in magazines such as Dazed and Confused, I.D, Modern Painters, Vogue, Elle Decoration and Elle.
First published on The London Word, October 2008.
© Abbey Stirling