Mixed
Media
with Joe Henry BakerIn this abstract artist’s Brooklyn studio, everything is a canvas
(including a chino suit). Passionate about hands-on creativity,
London-born Joe Henry Baker employs materials that develop and
change over time. We visited him to talk inspiration, connection
and technology-free time…and left with a little paint on our shoes.
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“I like to wear practical and understated outfits. My go-to uniform is
usually a mix of casual and workwear.”
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I love to do work that
requires lots of physicality
from start to finish:
constructing the frame,
stretching the canvas, mixing colors and using
a variety of tools.
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Joe in the garment-dyed cotton-linen chino suit and garment-dyed pocket tee.
A quick Q&A with Joe
Which items in your studio matter most to you?JHB: My collection of art books—particularly one signed by Helen Frankenthaler from my lovely girlfriend. I also have a swatch of Christo’s L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped that was given to me by a visitor from France.
Describe your ideal workday.JHB: It’d be a mixture of building, painting, reading and moving around, all away from a computer…and all accompanied by the perfect playlist.
What do you do when you need a break from the studio?JHB: I like to go for a run across the bridge or cycle across town. Activity helps me organize my thoughts.
Where have you found inspiration lately?JHB: I recently saw the film Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait, which gave me so much energy. Also, a book on artist Wolf Kahn has been open on my desk for a few days. His colors are electric.
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I come from a design and furniture background, so I’m keen to expand beyond a typical canvas. Right now, I’m exploring materiality, and my work is becoming increasingly experimental.
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Joe in the indigo-dyed sweatshirt and 1040
Athletic-fit jean in three-year wash.
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“I’m inspired by unique objects that reveal the hands that made them.”
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Follow @joehenrybakeron Instagram
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