Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Art Space Talk: Carrie Ann Baade

The art of Carrie Ann Baade has quickly gained recognition in recent years. I remember viewing her work over two years ago. Her images, with their 'eye masks', stuck in my mind. Sadly, I forgot her name at the time. What can I say...sometimes the art remains in the mind while the name of who created it slips away. One thing is for certain, the art and name of Carrie Ann Baade will become familiar to many people in the 'art world'. I doubt I will forget her name anytime soon. She has a successful track record and continues to develop as an artist.

In my opinion, Baade's art is a perfect example of what a surrealistic painter can accomplish today. Carrie's paintings have been called "Imaginative Realism" due to her strong skills in traditional painting. Her body of work captures the essence of Master works while embracing the heart of surrealism. This mix of 'old and new' comes together to create images that are both beautiful and alarming at the same time.

There is a mysterious beauty about her work. In my opinion, the world she creates is one of harlequins and jesters cloaked by a shroud of danger that can be observed just beneath the surface. When viewed as a collection, Baade's paintings become a masquerade: Anger, fear, humor, sadness, humility, and joy all wear their respected mask. They beg for the viewer to peer beyond their guise. Will you be so bold as to take a look?

Brian Sherwin: Carrie, when did you first discover that art would be an important part of your adult life?

Carrie Ann Baade: Shortly after becoming conscious at age 2 1/2. I had been quite ill and in the hospital, so my first memories were of being ill, the next memory was of returning home and drawing "The Snail in the Rain"...I figure it is peculiar or at least precocsious for toddlers to title their works. I still have the drawing.

BS: Carrie, how has creating art shaped you professionally and personally?

CAB: Recently, I have gone through several huge life changes. I quit my job and my marriage so that I could paint full time. The result is the realization that I will sacrifice nearly everything to continue to paint. My only other skill is that I am a decent professor and I am still trying to make that work to actually have a living wage.

BS: Carrie, how has society influenced your art? Are there any social implications in your art?

CAB: I don't paint because I want to keep it. I paint to communicate. It is the desire to touch and connect with others that drives my work...however, there is a tendancy to be the sadder and funnier darkerside of life that I am attempting to illustrate.

BS: What are your artistic influences? Has anyone inspired you?

CAB: Judith Schaecter! Julie Heffernan, Colette Calacsione, Catherine de Monchaux, Liz McGrath, and Vermeer.

BS: Carrie, tell me a little about your background. Are your past experiences reflected in the work you do today? If so, how?

CAB: My life is definitely embedded or encoded into my work. The more trauma the more content. There are very real things that I am not aloud to speak of in polite society, the more I translate them into elaborate images to spell out my rage, my dissatisfaction, my pain, my secrets, and my loves which may also be secrets. Usually I let myself work cathartically but only so long as there is something funny about it. Technically speaking, I studied classical realism in Italy at the Florence Academy of Art and after I left, I then did many reproductions of artists such as Vermeer, Canaletto, Watteau, Manet, Belinni, Signorelli, etc. This shaped my desire to use paint with a similar authority to these past masters.

BS: If you could pinpoint the characteristics of people who collect your art, what would they be?

CAB: All the people who collect my work (who are not friends) are lawyers. I like that somehow lawyers see the complexity and are intrigued by the subject matter.

BS: Do you have an upcoming exhibit? If so, where and when?

CAB: YES! 3 in NYC opening at the end of October! Strychnin Gallery on OCt 27th, Fuse Gallery OCt 28th, and KMFK Gallery.

BS: Carrie, where do you see your art in 10 years? What are your plans?

CAB: Provided I planted my seeds correctly, I hope to have 4 or 5 nice galleries who represent me. My work is getting larger (at one point they had shrunk to 7inches). It is really my life's goal to make a humble living through painting....this is one of the few professions that one can continue til they are a little ol lady....but that is more like my 50 year plan.

BS: Carrie, discuss one of your pieces. What were you thinking when you created it? What is your artistic process?

CAB: "The Teachings of Lilith," (image above) 18 x 12 inches, oil on copper, 2006, currently showing at PAUL BOOTH (The Dark Lord of Tatoos)'s Strychnin Gallery in NYC. This image is about the connections between women, snakes, and the moon. Specifically, I am intrigued by early Rennaisance artists depiction of the sepent in the garden of Eden having the head or torso of a woman. Since the serpent is not mentioned being female in the Bible, why have male artists chosen to show the serpent being part woman? The most famous example is in Michealangelo's Sistine Chapel frescoe. For me, this painting suggests that there may be more of these temptresses in training going out into the world to offer free will to more individual who were before locked in the bliss of ignorance.

BS: Carrie, do you have a degree or do you plan to attend school for art?

CAB: I have a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a masters from the University of Delaware.

BS: Where can we see more of your art? Are you involved with other websites? Do you have a personal website?

CAB: My website and I'm involved with

BS: Carrie, are you represented by a gallery?

BAG: Rosenfeld Gallery in Philadelphia, Richard Rosenfeld is my second father. I hope to gain representation with galleries in a few other cities/countries so I may continue to paint full time. I have been working with Stychnin Gallery in Berlin, but I also work with Ann Nathan in Chicago, Roq La Rue in Seattle, and I will have work at Sandy Carson in Denver next fall. Currently, I have work at Strychnin Gallery, KFMK Gallery, and Fuse Gallery all in NYC.

BS: Carrie, how many pieces have you sold in your career?

CAB: Of the works on my site, 3/4s are sold, so perhaps 40 paintings. I have been selling because I have had low prices to get my work out there. Only recently, have I raised them a little to attempt to make a living wage.

BS: Carrie, in your own words... why do you create art?

CAB: I create to make the work that I want to see. I am largely unsatified with contemporary art and art of the past. I yearn to make work that is mystical but contains elements that speak to the human condiditon. I wouldn't want to live if I couldn't create. It is who I am. It is what I do. I create art because I was a terrible waitress.

BS: Do you have any tips for emerging artists?

CAB: Pretend that each letter of rejection means you get to go out to dinner. I have decided that I will have an exhibit of all my letters of rejection as soon as I have enough to cover a gallery. I am only 1/3 of the way there. Beyond that, my credo is: IGNORANCE AND BALLZ! I say ignorance because I don't ask questions. Never ask why you are doing this. Never question your ability. Never wonder if you would be richer or happier doing something else. Ballz is the momentum to keep doing it despite impossible odds.

BS: Carrie, has your work ever been censored? If so, how did you deal with it?

CAB: Yes, The Queen of Oblivion was not displayed in a public building because there were breasts in the image. I was gratful for the show so I complied and then my family laughed at how conservative and small minded society is.

BS: What was the toughest point in your career as an artist? Have you ever hit rock-bottom?

CAB: Currently, I am pleasantly free falling with out a parachute. I could not have jumped from safe job and a safe existance with out the skills I have acquired and the painting I have done so far. I don't want to say I have seen the worst because there is always a new level bad one may fall through, only to find what they thought was hell was heaven by comparrison. This artists' living has dignity and I would not have dignity doing something that was not me. I know who I am, I know what I want, but how to make this practicle is nearly demoralising at times.

BS: Can we find your art on

CAB: Do a search for CarrieAnnBaade on

BS: Carrie, what can you tell our readers about the art scene in your area?

CAB: Philly is conservative, but it is a knowable art scene with possilbities. New York is so broad and expansive it is unknowable by comparison. I prefer to be a fish in a medium sized pond for now.

You can learn more about Carrie Ann Baade by visiting her website-- You can read more of my interviews by visiting the following page-- Carrie is a member of the beinArt International Surreal Art Collective.

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am so thrilled to see that Carrie, my ex-neighbor from Saint Louis is now a jet setter. Brian and Carrie are great people and great artists and am truly honored to have known them.In fact a small painting that Carrie gave me as a parting gift is still hanging on my wall. It is refreshing to see people with great talents move up in the world and gain recognition.To know that I now live in the city where Carrie was born is a sweet coincidence.

Ashok Pullikuth