Artist Brian Baker. Photo by Philip Laubner.

Brian Baker creates life-size pieces of art with, as he puts it, “gods and goddesses, angels and demons, spirits and aliens.” Most of his work is created on un-stretched canvas, some rolled up to save space. The large scale paintings can be intense, many of them over eight feet tall. Brian has visions or waking dreams that began when he was a child, and he paints to reinterpret these visions.

“I make these images to communicate a near reflection of the original experience of being confronted by such beings. i need the space to explore variations of a theme within one canvas and to develop atmosphere around the beings.” -Brian Baker

Photo and story by Philip Laubner.

Photo by Philip Laubner

Brian, as alchemist, evokes these visions with a blend of oil, acrylic, pencil, charcoal, typography, spray paint and found photography. The sheer scale of the work envelops and draws the viewer into lucidity — sometimes with reverie, often with reverence and occasionally accompanied by a demon or nightmare.

Photo and story by Philip Laubner.

When I first visited Brian’s studio I was amazed by the variety and volume of literature and reference material. What I admired was that amidst all of that intellectual energy, his work seemed to originate more from the spirit than from the mind. His inspiration seems to be born from a place before books, when rituals meant more to men and the veil between worlds was next to non-existent.

It’s not that Brian or his work is without modern influence. While attending MICA he met a brilliant graffiti artist with the tag Voke. This artist challenged Brian to expand his palette of materials, he opened his ears to ambient music, both the genre and his own music written under the name Telekinetic Soulmate. He also introduced Brian to a whole new set of open-minded modern artists.

Photo and story by Philip Laubner.

Photo by Philip Laubner

Heather Joi and Brian Baker

Voke is the one mentor i have been granted that is more valuable than all the rest and as much as i hate to admit that in the midst of many paternal and even guru-like teachers, this young man and i pierced the veils of mysterium via intense visual study of ancient art and the rare modern masters who were looking into a universal layer of reality beneath the smoothed over surface of matter.” -Brian Baker

Voke also introduced Brian to Ernst Fuchs, who many regard as the father of Fantastic Realism. On the subject of Fuchs Brian remarked, “Fuchs is Austrian, Messianic, Jewish, Christian, psychedelic, mystic, and as much a magician as a master craftsman with his paint and eye. His influence is vast; Dali, Giger, Robert Venosa, Mati Klarwein, and Alex Grey to name a few.”

Photo and story by Philip Laubner.

Painting by Brian Baker

KRSNA (Krishna)

by Brian Baker

8 ft by 6 ft

The painting KRSNA (Krishna) is 8ft tall; the larger-than-life scale portraits of divinities are meant to serve as a mirror-like window to the unseen soul, literally offering a mystical image of God.
Brian is attempting to recreate the encounters with spiritual entities he has experienced in dreams and waking visions. It is to this end that he employs various painting techniques as a kind of visionary photography.
In this work, he has specifically included aliens, God the Father, and the Hindu trinity (Lord Krishna Dattatreya) as a Vishnu Deity holding Jesus Christ in the form of a Pieta.

Photo by Philip Laubner

Brian Baker and Heather Joi

Photo by Philip Laubner.

Photo by Philip Laubner

Brian Baker and Doreen Bolger

Even with all of these modern influences, to me there just seems to be something older and more fundamental going on in Brian’s artwork, maybe a trace of something that’s been lost and through his paintings he’s trying to rediscover for us, as Brian believes his visions are meant be shared.

Photo and story by Philip Laubner.

Since 1995, The Creative Alliance has promoted Baltimore as a dynamic center of art in all genres. With members ranging from artists and educators to neighbors and supports, the Creative Alliance cultivates community through collaboration.

Photo by Philip Laubner

Brian Baker has an upcoming month-long show at the Laughing Pint on Gough St. His current solo-show at Cyclops Books on North Ave. will be celebrated with a closing show on February 16, which coincidentally will also function as an opening show for his wife, artist Heather Joi. Brian and Heather recently moved into their new home at City Art on Oliver St. City Art offers safe and affordable housing for Baltimore artists. Brian and Heather have joined the City Art community and will be showing work at the site in the upcoming months.

Photo and story by Philip Laubner.

If you can't see the photos, click DISPLAY IMAGES.

Video: Brian Baker, child prodigy, featured on Baltimore News Channel 13.

“While at MICA I was turned off by some of the misleading instructors in art school, though I took my own art work seriously,” explains Brian Baker, artist.

“Near the end of my final senior semester, my rebellion climaxed in quitting school with a fellow painter. Our realization was that art school was not feeding our true art, but stifling it, and that there is a universal school beyond institutions that we were accessing. We sensed that there must be more to life; a transcendental world of visionary mysticism, which we had seen and experienced in a unique way, particularly with the initial boost from entheogens (psychedelics). I have been experiencing my higher selves, and have had similar encounters with spiritual beings since then.”

9 Out Of 10 Starving Artists Agree… Free Money Is Surprisingly More Satisfying Than No Money At All.

On February 1, Creative Capital will begin accepting online Letters of Inquiry for its upcoming grant round to fund innovative projects in Film/Video and Visual Arts.

Creative Capital provides integrated financial and advisory support to artists pursuing adventurous projects; whose work is provocative, timely and relevant; who are deeply engaged with their artforms, yet are also boldly original; who create work that carries the potential to reshape the cultural landscape.

Inquiries must be submitted by March 1. Guidelines and eligibility information are available online, and information sessions will be held throughout January and February.

The Deutsch Foundation supports individuals and organizations committed to testing new solutions to enduring challenges, protecting society’s assets, exploring new domains of knowledge and social innovation, and advocating for the common good.

  • Pingback: Visionary Artist Brian Baker | What Weekly Magazine()

  • Theresa Keil

    Wonderful storytelling, and as usual, fantastic photo’s.

    • Brooke Hall

      Completely agree, Theresa. Great job Phil!

  • larry cohen

    These are good photos, Phil.
    As the artist, I find the art to be inward.

  • Dolly Paolucci

    Brian Baker’s works are really amazing! After watching the video, everyone will be impressed with him. Even as a high school student, his masterpieces were really amazing. Artists like him draw insipration from experiences and lessons to further increase their skills.