After 2010's huge success “Burnt Home”, Pedro Bakker returns with “Drawn like a man”, the artist’s second solo show in New York.
Long time has passed since Pedro Bakker (1952, Werveshoof, NL) studied Aesthetics at the University of Amsterdam in the early 1980s. Before he could graduate, he decided to become a self-thought artist and take drawing and painting lessons at the Fine Arts Academy. But his first academic choice has always remained consistent with what came afterwards: philosophy and philosophers have always been Bakker’s visible partners, his traveling companions. Painting, drawing and philosophy are inseparable though out the development of his oeuvre. Academics and art practice finally came together during an MA in Artistic Research at the University of Amsterdam. The works presented in New York are the continuation of this research process.
Bakker’s work method is mainly through series of collage-like paintings and drawings with text, in which he addresses art historical, philosophical and personal questions. An early example of this would be the period when he went by the name “the cow-philosopher” (borrowed from Vache philosophe, a term coined by nineteenth century art critic Théophile Thoré). During this period he painted manly cows under the fundamental question of whether or not the subject matter is important for painting. His work often originates from situations derived from his life as an artist; a recent example of this would be the series of collages Sunny (2008-2009): inspired by the tabloid magazine The Sun, read on the train while commuting to Amsterdam for his studies. Bakker imagines the daily horror sagas and the tabloid style as the context his own memories from childhood.
This explosion of text and images would soon give way to large format color drawing using pencil and watercolor where text is almost totally absent. During his academic artistic research Bakker turns to the subject of his childhood memories, in particular the very important figure of his mother. The allies for this research became French philosopher George Bataille and American writer and artist Henry Darger, whose influence is to be found on Bakker’s work from then on. This step into the journey of the past resulted in the series “Burnt Home” and most recently the continuation “One man – One woman”, were Bataille can be found as partner of Bakker’s mother, depicted as a young girl in 1943. It is during this short period of time that personal experiences, theoretical background and artistry reach the greatest level of interconnection, producing what can be seen as Bakker’s master works. As we can see in “Travel 1 (Me, T.More and the flappers)”, today, Bakker’s finds himself as a modern Gulliver in the present, New York, his artistic present. “Drawn like a man” brings to New York the best of Pedro Bakker’s recent masters works.