Lindsey Baker is a gifted artist who is well known for his distinctive brand of realism. He has painted for over 25 years and exhibits as regularly as his painstaking technique allows — with each painting taking a number of months to complete.
Baker’s paintings often document the quietly iconic buildings and lesser-known landmarks of New Zealand, occasionally contrasting these local icons with those of other cultures in an effort to expose the innate ‘Kiwiness’ that defines New Zealand’s cultural landscape.
His two latest works (to be shown at nkb Gallery this September) are from an ongoing series of paintings he has been producing for over 10 years, documenting the ever-vibrant and changing K’ Rd: ‘the soul of Auckland’ as he likes to refer to it. One large work depicts the now gone Brazil Cafe, one of Auckland’s former-most famous coffee houses, which opened in the mid 90s and closed in 2007 becoming in the process a K’ Rd institution, which was as well known for its loyal bohemian following as it was its coffee.
Lindsey works from a variety of source materials, which include an array of photographs. The Brazil Cafe images were collected over a 10-year period; elements from each were then selected, edited and juxtaposed to make up the overall composition for the painting. From this Baker then produced a full-size drawing so that each element could be refined, combined and transferred to the painting as required. Lindsey’s meticulous process results in a composite vision of social history, rather than a quick snapshot or reproduction of a photograph in paint.
Odds On Tomorrow featuring Lindsey Baker, Freeman White, Michael Lowe and Hamish Allan opens at nkb Gallery (455 Mt Eden Road) on Thursday 3 September at 6pm — all are welcome for
a glass of wine to preview some extraordinary work.
Exhibition runs until 24 September.