Nancy Baker’s Surreal Arcadian Fantasies

Art
Wildman -- Nancy Baker

Wildman -- Nancy Baker

We are just loving the strangely disquieting art of Nancy Baker. Baker’s world–much of it a night world–teems with vibrant birds and manic jesters, spaceships and dissolving flowers. Paintings like Plato’s Revenge and Listening to Reason suggest achronistic landscapes, merging Arcadian fantasy, Renaissance tropes, and retrofuturism, while works such as In and Of Itself (below), Temptation, and Pokey both allude to–and at the same time puncture–the conflation of religious myths, fairy tales, and modern pop narratives that inform our culture.

In and Of Itself

In and Of Itself -- Nancy Baker

We love the playfulness at work in Baker’s paintings, an overt and primal innocence impinged by a looming sinister something. There’s an underlying tension here that everything might, in the briefest of moments, snap into incoherence and chaos. Yet each painting retains a core of displaced meanings, an invitation to the viewer to tell herself a story. Great stuff.