David Graeme Baker was born in 1968 in Cape Town, South Africa and grew up in Pennsylvania. After earning a BA in fine arts from Wesleyan University, Baker graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, following in the tradition of Thomas Eakins and other American Realists. He is a figurative painter who has been living in coastal Maine with his wife, Sarah, and their two young sons since 2000. Clearly influenced by his family and surroundings, Baker’s paintings are emotionally evocative in their depiction of local settings and interior scenes of domesticity. Though his wife and children often serve as models, as the work progresses the artist remains open to inspiration from varied sources, considering multiple narrative possibilities and modifying the image so that the personal is transformed into the archetypal. The precision and lush detail evident in Baker’s paintings push the viewer past what is merely observable.
“The narrative painter is like a novelist, he must explore the psyche of the characters in order to give them credibility. The outcomes, rather than clean, iconic meta-images or narratives, are paintings with more purposefully modest, tangled, personal threads that function as springboards for empathetic contemplation. The resulting paintings are a mix of reality, memory, and fiction.” - David Graeme Baker