Christopher Baker, by Mary Shanahan

The beauty of Christopher Baker’s photographs resides in a place that reveals that strangeness is a part of beauty. His photographs crystallize seemingly contradictory qualities that make a pure and simple picture reveal a complex and sometimes strange truth. His still life pictures, more paused than still, are a cinematic approach to an arrested moment.

 

Baker’s high regard of “the thing itself,” a distilled and distinctly unsentimental view of his subject, achieved through simplification, elimination and fierce dedication, reveal a clarity of vision that defies definition in words, using an “eye language” that does not translate to literature, thus remaining purely visual.

 

His vision embraces all subjects, in the studio or outside of it. We have collaborated on gardens, interiors, food, jewelry, cosmetics, beauty, flowers, and travel. His perception and distillation of these subjects into photographs is unique. I find his work somehow timeless. Often having a cinematic construction. In designing his book “Tulipa, A Photographer’s Botanical” I was struck by his obsession with the botanical perfection of the plant. In his isolation of individual plants into a book of portraits, he fused the history of botanical painting with studio fashion photography into a new vision of the plant world. It is a strict revisionist botanical book on the Tulip family that The New York Times Book Review called “one of the most lavish photographic visions of the plant world ever published.” This work is a perfect example of the contradictory qualities that make his photographs so compelling.

 

Christopher Baker Photography