Over the past 32 years, Baker has traveled to over 50 countries and has spent significant time in remote villages all over the globe, living and getting to know these primitive people and their ways. He has photographed and painted native cultures from South Ameica, India, Tibet, Mongolia and Africa, but it's his paintings of Northern Mexico's Tarahumara Indians that has brought him national and global acclaim. It's important to note that many places that once were so difficult to get to are now easily accessed by paved roads and highways, as the world has changed dramatically over the past three decades. Baker is all too aware that he's in a race against time to capture these native people and places before they're gone forever.
Bakers' beautiful renditions have become historial documentations of cultures others will never experience. Noted for his large scale paintings, his mosaic techniques, his magisterial use of light and shadow, his fearless use of color, and his laser sharp attention to detail is both powerful and masterful. Every thread of fabric in the traditional clothing worn by its subjects, every strand of embroidery, is recorded as if each is intricately connected to the person and their story. Baker's paintings capture the authentic rhythms of these people's daily lives as they exist in perfect harmony with their native surroundings – each moment, each detail perfectly rendered and vibrating with emotion and life.
Being an artist is one of the greatest blessings of my life. It has been a calling of sorts, in much the same way a pastor is called to the ministry. That calling recognizes the beauty, poetry and sacredness in the subjects I paint – a native woman carrying a bundle of Calle lilies to the market, a Raramuri youth playing one of his unrefined hand carved violins, tribal leaders talking quietly around a smoldering fire. I want the viewer to see the magic in the day to day lives of these native people, and to see my work as a mosaic – abstract shapes, rich vibrant colors, and values of light that hold together form.
I have developed much of the past 32 years to capturing the essence and simple magnificence of indigenous people all over the world, often living for months at a time with tribes who become the subject of my work. In time, I am often given the distinct honor of photographing these people in their natural surroundings, thus providing further inspiration as I recreate my images on paper and canvas.