I've been making pictures on the computer since 1994, and since then, although I work in various analog media as well, the "machine" has become the tool I am most excited about.

Many of the narrative pictures here are modern allegories from my own cartoon world - collage comprised of Hindu and Christian iconography, paintings from the pre-Modern history of art, mechanical and scientific etchings, found objects from nature, fabrics and patterns. I combine these elements with my own paintings, drawings and photographs to create a personal surrealist "version" of art history and the history of devotion.

Characters quietly savor revelation, or vibrate to the ambient sexual hum of Being. Other less fortunate souls, longing to be (in Jack Kerouac's words) "bombarded by grace" are sometimes instead beheaded, set afire, or simply consumed by a giant Death. The Wheel spins regardless. God is wrath and decay as well as light. Shiva must be Bhairava, and somebody gonna feel it.

Aside from my interactions with God, I am most strongly influenced by the ideas of mid 20th century High Modernist artists and writers, most notably Norman O. Brown, whose books Life Against Death and Love's Body were pivotal to the development of my own view of human ape history.

I am also compelled by traditional themes in painting - home scenes, portraits, artist's studio, artist and model, and the countless stories from the Bible, the Ramayana, and other devotional literature. Without specifically meaning to, I keep returning to these simple skeletons to drape with my own sensations.

At the end of 2008 I began several series' of abstract pictures based on recent paintings and photographs from nature. I'm delighted to continue exploring these in tandem with the narrative work.

Rake Baker
Zion Valley, Cali
January, 2009