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Stephen Baker's 'Moonshine'

Art

It’s pretty well documented we’re big fans of Melbourne artist Stephen Baker, as visitors to last year’s TDF Open House event will know!

We’re always keen to see what Stephen is up to, and his latest body of work has enthralled us once again. Entitled ‘Moonshine’, the show explores themes of day and night, utilising two distinct and contrasting colour palettes. It opens in Melbourne this Friday.

12th March, 2018

‘By the Water’s Edge’ by Stephen Baker, for his latest show ‘Moonshine’ opening at Meat Market this Friday. Photo – courtesy of the artist.

‘Placement of the Moon’ by Stephen Baker, for his latest show ‘Moonshine’ opening at Meat Market this Friday. Photo – courtesy of the artist.

‘Bathed In Moonlight’ by Stephen Baker, for his latest show ‘Moonshine’ opening at Meat Market this Friday. Photo – courtesy of the artist.

Stephen at work in his Collingwood studio. Photo –  Nicole Reed.

Studio details. Photo –  Nicole Reed.

‘With Our Backs to the Sun’ by Stephen Baker, for his latest show ‘Moonshine’ opening at Meat Market this Friday. Photo – courtesy of the artist.

‘Stretched Out’ by Stephen Baker, for his latest show ‘Moonshine’ opening at Meat Market this Friday. Photo – courtesy of the artist.

Stephen Baker, pictured in his studio alongside ‘Placement of the Moon’. Photo –  Nicole Reed.

Lucy Feagins
Monday 12th March 2018

The latest body of work from Stephen Baker is the result of 13 months, culminating in 16 new paintings. Underlying themes of day and night have been used to define two distinct colour palettes throughout this series – a summery, warm palette, and contrasting moody blue ‘moonshine’ palette, referred to in the show’s title.

Often inspired by architecture, these latest paintings refer specifically to 1920’s ’Moorish Revival’ style architecture, in the city of Opa-locka in Florida. This unlikely influence caught Stephen’s eye after he happened upon an architecture book documenting these unusual homes. ‘Their dream was to create a city that felt like it was taken straight from the pages of the “Arabian Nights”,’ Stephen explains. ‘At the time I stumbled on this book, I was planning my next show and constructing my own dreamlike landscape… this book fuelled the idea even more.’

Recognisable by meticulous clean lines and tightly controlled colour palettes, Stephen’s paintings are almost impossibly precise (yes, they’re all painted by hand!). His ongoing fascination with escapism is a constant theme, as is his exploration of utopian-versus-dystopian environments.

With ‘Moonshine’, there’s a push outside the ‘real world’ towards a fictional narrative, the painter explains. ‘Instead of finding the “escape” in a real-life environment, I’ve placed the figures in a totally fictitious one,’ Stephen says. ‘There’s also a hint of ritualistic activities, with works such as ‘Placement of the Moon‘ and ‘Aligning the Moon’.

‘Moonshine’ by Stephen Baker
Opening Night, Friday March 16th, 6-9pm
Show runs March 16th – 25th

The Stables
Meat Market
2 Wreckyn Street, North Melbourne

Pre-sale catalogue now available via info@stephenbakerart.com.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net