Julia Schwartz interviews painter and Painters' Table editor Brett Baker. Thanks to Julia for the opportunity to discuss my work, including the development of my recent miniature paintings.
"Moving from a large studio in the Catskills to a two-room apartment in Manhattan forced me, finally, to consider the role scale played in the work. I had to ask whether could I make serious paintings that were small, and to answer that question I had to try and make some small works and see if they 'measured up' to the large ones. I stretched ten small paintings, the limit that would fit on the apartment wall, and resolved to work on them until the question of scale was answered in the work. I worked on those paintings for four years. Interestingly, my existing visual language continued to evolve and thrive on the smaller surfaces. The size of the marks changed very little, but where they had more or less floated on a large surface they began to interlock, to push and pull against each other and the support. A visual compression emerged that hadn’t been there before, and the paintings began to realize the solidity I originally sought."