Nicholas Baxter

The End of Websites

I’ve slowly let this blog turn to seed and die out, as the attention of the whole world turns to social media.

I’ve noticed website traffic declining ever since the cultural takeover of Instagram, Snapchat, etc. and along with that, my own website use has dwindled. I’ve posted far fewer updates to this site, and even less than that to this blog, since basically no one reads blogs anymore?

This was always a labor of love and not profit or mass audience cultivation, but as all the eyeballs move to Instagram, it has taken over as the defacto blog of choice, since the platform lends itself to quick, easy, effective content sharing, especially for visual creators like me.

As the task of staying relevant and worthy of someone’s attention becomes increasingly difficult, and the pace of changing internet trends gets increasingly difficult to keep up with (it would seem?), there just isn’t the time for this anymore, and that makes me very sad because I enjoy producing long format art-related content. I love explaining things, teaching things, revealing insights to the curious. I have 2 sold out books now only available as ebooks (here!) because of that love.

And just because websites and blogs are dying, doesn’t mean I’m creating any less; you can follow all of my work in all mediums on Instagram, of course. And I’ll always post new paintings on this website, in their respective gallery categories. as well as post major announcements to the front page.

For now, since I have no major projects or shows in the works with deadlines to observe, I am available for commissions.

Blood Rituals: Volume One Coming Soon!

A pair of teaser trailers documenting some behind the scenes production of my forthcoming limited edition handmade monograph documenting the first 3 years of the Blood Rituals painting series. This 114 page book is an art object in its own right, a collector’s item for any fans of art ‘zine culture and independent publishing, limited to only 100 signed and numbered copies. Additionally, the first 22 copies will include a small artist’s proof featuring one of the paintings in the book. All painstakingly produced by my longtime friend and artistic collaborator Jeff Ensminger at Southern Cross Press.

Easy online ordering will be available through artrealmtattoo.com.

Stay tuned here or on my Instagram profile for ordering info and pricing details!

 

 

Blood Rituals: Redux

Photoshoots for last year’s Blood Rituals series of still life paintings yielded several interesting macros which did not fit the aesthetic of classical still life that evolved out of my initial brainstorming sessions. I extracted four compositions from these photos, and after perfecting them in the digital darkroom, recreated them as hyperrealist oil paintings. This miniseries pursues a different avenue of exploration of the same subject matter, presenting another aspect of my artistic vision and skill set as a painter.

These claustrophobic and intimate closeups border on the abstract, as the complex color patterns of wrinkled plastic bags and condensation covered glass lose their original context of setting and scenery. Within this unfamiliar space, the jarring appearance of blood is a beautiful, rich and vibrant color that makes these compositions pop, while providing symbolic depth. The narrative of what’s happening and why is largely absent from these images–intentionally–as they strive for a disorienting sense of wonder by honoring the genre of true photorealism. Uncanny likeness to the “real” provides an illusion that in turn may open up new ways of perceiving the ordinary, mundane objects of the world around us.

Our physical reality contains infinite detail, but to help us move efficiently through the world, our brains eliminate much of what our eyes are capable of perceiving. When given an up close, sustained glimpse of the material complexity we inhabit, the result is often overwhelming, surreal, and disorienting, as our simplified view explodes with new detail. This is the point at which assumptions and certainties are compelled to crumble, opening the intellectual space for new truths to be realized and deeper understanding to form.

 

BLOOD RITUALS: REDUX

(untitled), oil on linen panel, 8 x 10 inches, 2016

 

(untitled), oil on linen panel, 8 x 10 inches, 2016

 

(untitled), oil on linen panel, 8 x 10 inches, 2016

 

(untitled), oil on linen panel, 8 x 10 inches, 2017