I’m always thrilled when I stumble across someone who’s work really stands out from the crowd and when I saw Terry Baker and his company Art of Photo, I got in touch straight away to see what Terry and his work are all about. Zinging colours and abstract surreal themes abound and here, he tells us how he produces his abstracts and who appeals to his sense of the macabre…
I have been both artist and photographer all my working life. I got a BA (Fine art) in Manchester, an MA (Photography] at De Montfort in Leicester and a PGCert Ed (Art Education) in Manchester and I’m also an associate of the Royal Photographic Society. I taught art and photography up to A Level and also adult teaching but I’m now retired and live in the Peak District National Park, Derbyshire, where I have my own studio and exhibit my own work, both landscape, people and places, and pure abstract and surrealist images. All my abstract work derives from photography in one form or another.
This is how I produce my abstracts: What if the physical photograph, the print, rather than being a mere record of something seen or a source of information/inspiration, becomes its own artwork through a series of physical manipulations, distortions and deliberate destruction? So, I developed this strategy: I take photographs, often extreme close-ups, process them as full colour prints, subject them to physical stresses such as tearing and burning with heat and acid, reassemble them as collages and then re-photograph and reprint them in limited editions. Thus any boundaries (real or imagined) between the photo and the art have become indistinguishable. In this way ‘Art of Photo’ was born.
If you hadn’t become a photographer what might you have been? I would love to have been a marine biologist – just didn’t have the right A levels. So went to art
Who is your favourite photographer and why? Joel Peter Witkin. Really strange and disturbing stuff. Appeals to my sense of the macabre and
What is the picture you wish you’d taken? Moonrise over Hernandez by Ansel Adams.
What advice would you give aspiring photographers? Focus on the work.. Be stubborn and determined. Talent alone does not make for success.
If you could give your younger self some advice what would it be? Don’t waste time. Don’t prevaricate. Make up your mind!
And a few randoms…
Life isn’t fair…get used to it. (Bill Gates)
You and you alone are responsible for your own destiny.
Don’t blame others (especially your parents) for all of life’s pitfalls.
Success is 99 percent hard work…..and then some!
What I’m reading at the moment: Life on Earth by David Attenborough
The book I should have read but didn’t: Lila – an Enquiry into Morals by Robert M. Pirsig
The last film I watched: ‘Parker’ on Netflix
Guilty pleasures: Chocolate in any form. Whiskey in any form. Wine in any form. (I struggle to feel guilty but the feeling lasts but a fleeting second).
Music that makes me feel happy: Anything by Rossini.
Fantasy dinner party guests: Enrico Caruso Albert Einstein Rosalind Franklin Frida Kahlo
Four things to take to a desert island: Classical guitar, supply of artists materials, plentiful supply of single malt whiskey, plentiful supply of chocolate.
Three wishes for 2021: Successfully sell my work, aquire a MacBook pro, get to see my grandson who lives in Paris once this lockdown is over…
You can see and buy Terry’s work at ART OF PHOTO
Follow him on INSTAGRAM