Linus Galleries, Fine Art Gallery
2014 Artist Interview Series
Linus Galleries, a Los Angeles contemporary art gallery, presents The Artist Interview Series. Our Linus artists are from all over the world and come from a variety of different practices and backgrounds. Read on to gain insight into the creative process and personality of our featured artist. This week we feature artist Jim Baab who recently exhibited one of his stunning figure studies and nude fine art portraits for our Undressed exhibition.
1) Please tell us your name, artistic practice of choice, and location in the world.
Hello! My name is Jim Baab. My artistic practice is photography. I reside on Prospect Hill, in Somerville, Massachusetts.
2) Are you self taught or did you formally study art?
I am self taught. I do not hold an advanced degree. My background is in film and video production and digital media technical support. Around the time I was in the third grade, along with a handful of my peers, I was introduced to the traditional, chemical darkroom process of developing and printing film by our school’s principal. But, I did not get to experience that magic again, until my last semester of college. I currently shoot with an 8 megapixel Olympus DSLR and an iPhone 4s – not high-end gear. About three years ago, I jumped head-first into photographing nudes by working with ZoeFest XI, an annual gathering of photographers and models coordinated by Figuremodels.org founder Zoe Wiseman. Since then, I have participated in two annual Somerville Open Studios events and taken three “human landscape” workshops offered by Karin Rosenthal.
3) What did everyone else think you would be when you grew up?
At 44 years of age, I have not grown up yet – both, a curse and a blessing. My father, a machinist, wanted me to be an engineer. After enjoying drafting and design in high school, it was decided that I would study residential architecture in college. I eventually switched to film production, knowing it was a form of communication that fed my creative side more than drafting and design.
4) What subject matter appears most in your artwork? What do you love about that subject? What do you dislike?
The subject matter that appears most in my artwork may be the natural world, or humanity’s connection to it – birds, nudes in the landscape, nudes as landscape, fresh garden vegetables, vegetables as a nude human form. As an observer, I enjoy noticing the patterns, lines, shadows, alignments and pauses that occur in my surroundings. Magic, beauty and tragedy is happening everywhere but most people are too distracted to notice. As a human, I dislike that. As an artist, I can present unique perspectives that reconnect viewers with their surroundings.
5) What is difficult for you about your chosen medium?
My chosen medium is not that difficult. There are technical hurdles and hidden costs. Accurately pricing artwork that is reproducible and easy to promote and steal digitally can be challenging. The most difficult part is knowing when digital work is done and when to move on.
6) This is a hard choice for many visual artists, but what is the first answer that comes to mind when you think of your favorite color?
Blue. Blue skies. Blue jeans. Blueberries. Robin’s egg blue.
7) Which artist living or dead would you want to have drink with?
Ernest Hemingway. I’ve heard he was good at it.
8) Do you have any secret talents or party tricks unrelated to your art making?
I know how to repair a slate roof and I enjoy cooking. I’ve never mastered anything. But, I enjoy being artistic in my approach to just about everything.
9) What musical artist/band are you currently listening to when you are creating?
I listen to everything from Bille Holiday to Foo Fighters. When I shoot there is, usually, no music. If I’m editing photos in Lightroom on my computer, streaming Jazz happens a lot.
10) What do you think the future of your medium will look like for other artists or as a whole?
That’s a great question. Digital photography technology, on all fronts, is constantly improving as the Impossible Project’s Polaroid-friendly film, Instagram and similar mobile apps are making retro imagery fun again. But, as wearable cameras and devices become smaller and more integrated with the wearer’s vitals and activities, we may be seeing a stream of artwork that turns traditional subjects on their heads. I believe artists and hackers will still find ways to make the old new again, though.
My own focus, this year, has been submitting my work to calls for art and contests. So far, my photography has been selected for group exhibitions in Massachusetts, Vermont, Tenseness and California. I was also recently chosen for ArtAscent magazine’s Volume 8 Gold Artist Award, which included the publication and review of new “human landscape” work. It has been a good year to learn the process of finding outlets for my artwork, including the production of two books that I will be submitting to a photobook exhibition, this Fall.
11) Any parting advice for budding artists?
Find inspiration in other artists’ work. Think about how they are producing what moves you. Find and explore your own process. Be open to failure, criticism and compliments – each is an opportunity to grow.
If you are interested in purchasing artwork from this artist or any of the artists featured on this blog or our website please CONTACT the GALLERY
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