My work veers between representation and abstraction, keeping the focus on that space between canvas and brain, where art loves to play around.
I like looking at a painting as much as making it, watching the ancillary imagery emerge from quirky, disparate paint shapes is my idea of pure pleasure. Humans read and construct meaning from the chaos of line and color so effortlessly. Being a conduit for the process is just coaxing the brain into vague recognitions, and then allowing them to reform into another, like a shifting bank of clouds.
I use almost any image, shape or color to get me started on a painting. Then I just keep digressing, trying not to hamper the flow of the paint and the secondary images that ooze out of it. If the painting gets too tight or precious, I stop, scrape it down and restart. When the process is working, it's akin to automatic writing or shape-shifting. That's why I work in oil paint, and on several canvases at a time, and never really finish. These paintings are intended to be protracted entertainments, and, for me, they are.
Born in Oklahoma, Rea Baldridge is interested in creating conceptually and aesthetically engaging work. Her unconventional perspectives on the relationships between art, culture, society, and politics have borne numerous artistic projects over the course of her career, and her paintings are a reflection of our time through their exploration of "the gaps between representation and abstraction, attention and inattention, studied carelessness and insane frivolity."
Primarily abstract with hints of figuration, Baldridge 's paintings provide an entry into her oeuvre, through which viewers can form their own interpretations of both subject matter and meaning. The painterly brushstrokes and dynamic, expressionistic surfaces of her paintings pay homage to abstract expressionism but innovate with their own unique, contemporary style and figurative suggestions. Often containing multiple figures in social settings, Baldridge's paintings are concerned, in essence, with the human experience.
From Oklahoma Contemporary ART NOW Biennial Exhibition 2021