artist BIO

Karen Baker was born in Lawton Oklahoma and currently lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. She studied photography at UCLA and the Los Angeles Center of Photography, and in workshops with Julie Blackmon, Roger Ballen, Shelby Lee Adams, Keith Carter, and Ed Freeman.

Ms. Baker is a photographic artist exploring the narrative of American culture; the connection between culture, history and politics.  She works in the classic tropes of landscape photography, architectural photography, narrative photography and various other contemporary photographic practice. Within her new-topographic, neo-conceptualist images she uses The Baby and Da Babi'i, iconic American presences from childhood as visual rhetoric to critique, mock and pay homage to her photographic forebears.

In 2008 Ms. Baker launched her first works of photography and video at her studio, designed by James Fl. McGlothlin, as part of the Venice Art Walk. Her debut show sold out. Her first solo show in 2010, Family Vacation, at DKRM/GALLERY WEST in Santa Monica, expanded the oeuvre of The Baby as he appears in the guise of tourist in the narrative of the family vacation celebrated in landscape, architectural and classic snapshot photographs.

Ms. Baker continues to investigate American culture as a social subtext with her current series, Da Babi'i Alternative, There's A Freeway Running Through The Yard, and American Family.

 

artist STATEMENT 

There's a Freeway Running Through The Yard

Living in Los Angeles for thirty-five years became an exercise in navigation and time management. Where we live, how we interact with family and friends, how we get to work and spend leisure time are all predicated on the one thing, that oddly enough, due to its ubiquity we may never actually see any longer.

A plan for the Southern California freeways was produced in 1947 and construction began in the 1950s. As of 2004 some 61% of the network had been completed which resulted in a system with gaps and bottlenecks and the worst congestion in the nation. As the largest of 36 metro areas in the US, Los Angeles is recognized as one of the most underdeveloped systems in the nation and ranks dead last in terms of freeway lanes per resident; in terms of quality of life, challenging would be a generous description.

Freeways dictate what time, what day, what area we travel through to get somewhere. They are in backyards, they divide neighborhoods, they sometimes prevent movement at all.  A check with Sig Alert or Waze is imperative and somewhat akin to looking in a crystal ball to see if what we intend to do will actually be possible. I always felt a twinge of despair to an invitation or meeting planned across town on a Friday evening, or any time or day a Dodgers or Lakers game was scheduled. I have the experience of traveling 1 3/4 hours to go 7 miles on surface streets having to cross under a freeway at rush-hour, and being completely at a standstill at the top of the Sepulveda pass on the 405 at midnight coming home from a completely otherwise wonderful dinner with friends as I, and hundreds of other motorists, lined up to wait for a collision to be cleared. 

The images I have created document the dichotomy of freedom of movement with the limitations of it. The joy of the open road with the frustration of the division it creates.  They are subtle and quiet reminders of the possibilities and restrictions we have built.

GROUP EXHIBITIONS


2016 
Amboy TV, Venice Art Walk, 340 Main Street, Venice, CA  90291

2015
Amboy TV, Venice Art Walk, 340 Main Street, Venice, CA 90291
Desert, Incognito, Santa Monica Museum of Art, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA  

2014

Mayhem, Incognito, Santa Monica Museum of Art, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA  90404
Biking Baby, Venice Art Walk, 340 Main Street, Venice, CA  90291

 

2013

Mayhem, The Alley, 1523 Cabrillo Ave, Venice Artwalk, Venice, CA 90291

 

2012

Family Vacation, The Perfect Exposure Gallery, 3519 W. 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA  90017

2009

Salton Sea, Joshua Tree, Jenna, Venice Artwalk, 1523 Cabrillo Avenue, Venice, CA  90291

 

2008

State Fair, Train Station, El Centro, Venice Art Walk, 1523 Cabrillo Avenue, Venice, CA 90291


 

SOLO EXIBITIONS

2017
Da Babi'i, Suarfjack Hotel, 412 Lewers Street, Honolulu, HI 96815
Family Vacation, Town, 3435 Waianae Avenue, Honolulu, HI  96816


2013
Family Vacation, Driving, Mayem, MagPi, 12668 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604

2012
Family Vacation, Fox Studios Gallery, 10201 Pico Blvd.,  building 103, Los Angeles, CA 90067
City Center, Fox Studios Gallery, 10201 Pico Blvd., building 103, Los Angeles, CA 90067

2010
Family Vacation, DKRM Gallery West, Montana Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90402
Family Vacation, LACDA Snap to Grid, 104 E 4th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

 

 

 

BLOG SECTIONS

INFORMATION

artist BIO

Karen Baker was born in Lawton Oklahoma and currently lives in Honolulu, Hawaii. She studied photography at UCLA and the Los Angeles Center of Photography, and in workshops with Julie Blackmon, Roger Ballen, Shelby Lee Adams, Keith Carter, and Ed Freeman.

Ms. Baker is a photographic artist exploring the narrative of American culture; the connection between culture, history and politics.  She works in the classic tropes of landscape photography, architectural photography, narrative photography and various other contemporary photographic practice. Within her new-topographic, neo-conceptualist images she uses The Baby and Da Babi'i, iconic American presences from childhood as visual rhetoric to critique, mock and pay homage to her photographic forebears.

In 2008 Ms. Baker launched her first works of photography and video at her studio, designed by James Fl. McGlothlin, as part of the Venice Art Walk. Her debut show sold out. Her first solo show in 2010, Family Vacation, at DKRM/GALLERY WEST in Santa Monica, expanded the oeuvre of The Baby as he appears in the guise of tourist in the narrative of the family vacation celebrated in landscape, architectural and classic snapshot photographs.

Ms. Baker continues to investigate American culture as a social subtext with her current series, Da Babi'i Alternative, There's A Freeway Running Through The Yard, and American Family.

 

artist STATEMENT 

There's a Freeway Running Through The Yard

Living in Los Angeles for thirty-five years became an exercise in navigation and time management. Where we live, how we interact with family and friends, how we get to work and spend leisure time are all predicated on the one thing, that oddly enough, due to its ubiquity we may never actually see any longer.

A plan for the Southern California freeways was produced in 1947 and construction began in the 1950s. As of 2004 some 61% of the network had been completed which resulted in a system with gaps and bottlenecks and the worst congestion in the nation. As the largest of 36 metro areas in the US, Los Angeles is recognized as one of the most underdeveloped systems in the nation and ranks dead last in terms of freeway lanes per resident; in terms of quality of life, challenging would be a generous description.

Freeways dictate what time, what day, what area we travel through to get somewhere. They are in backyards, they divide neighborhoods, they sometimes prevent movement at all.  A check with Sig Alert or Waze is imperative and somewhat akin to looking in a crystal ball to see if what we intend to do will actually be possible. I always felt a twinge of despair to an invitation or meeting planned across town on a Friday evening, or any time or day a Dodgers or Lakers game was scheduled. I have the experience of traveling 1 3/4 hours to go 7 miles on surface streets having to cross under a freeway at rush-hour, and being completely at a standstill at the top of the Sepulveda pass on the 405 at midnight coming home from a completely otherwise wonderful dinner with friends as I, and hundreds of other motorists, lined up to wait for a collision to be cleared. 

The images I have created document the dichotomy of freedom of movement with the limitations of it. The joy of the open road with the frustration of the division it creates.  They are subtle and quiet reminders of the possibilities and restrictions we have built.

GROUP EXHIBITIONS


2016 
Amboy TV, Venice Art Walk, 340 Main Street, Venice, CA  90291

2015
Amboy TV, Venice Art Walk, 340 Main Street, Venice, CA 90291
Desert, Incognito, Santa Monica Museum of Art, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA  

2014

Mayhem, Incognito, Santa Monica Museum of Art, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, CA  90404
Biking Baby, Venice Art Walk, 340 Main Street, Venice, CA  90291

 

2013

Mayhem, The Alley, 1523 Cabrillo Ave, Venice Artwalk, Venice, CA 90291

 

2012

Family Vacation, The Perfect Exposure Gallery, 3519 W. 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA  90017

2009

Salton Sea, Joshua Tree, Jenna, Venice Artwalk, 1523 Cabrillo Avenue, Venice, CA  90291

 

2008

State Fair, Train Station, El Centro, Venice Art Walk, 1523 Cabrillo Avenue, Venice, CA 90291


 

SOLO EXIBITIONS

2017
Da Babi'i, Suarfjack Hotel, 412 Lewers Street, Honolulu, HI 96815
Family Vacation, Town, 3435 Waianae Avenue, Honolulu, HI  96816


2013
Family Vacation, Driving, Mayem, MagPi, 12668 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604

2012
Family Vacation, Fox Studios Gallery, 10201 Pico Blvd.,  building 103, Los Angeles, CA 90067
City Center, Fox Studios Gallery, 10201 Pico Blvd., building 103, Los Angeles, CA 90067

2010
Family Vacation, DKRM Gallery West, Montana Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90402
Family Vacation, LACDA Snap to Grid, 104 E 4th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

 

 

 

BLOG SECTIONS