Born in Hampshire 1964, Charming Baker spent most of his early life travelling around the world following his father, a Commando in the British Army. At the age of 12, he and his family finally settled in Ripon, North Yorkshire. Baker left school at 16 and worked various manual jobs. In 1985, having gone back to college, Baker was accepted onto a course at the prestigious Central Saint Martin’s, where he later returned as a lecturer. After graduating, Baker worked for many years as a commercial artist, also developing his personal work. Solo shows at the Truman Brewery in 2007 and the Redchurch Street Gallery in 2009 were followed by a show in New York in 2010.
In 2011, Baker’s London show at the Mercer Street Studios cemented his place as one of the rising stars in the world of Contemporary Art. In 2012, a sculpture entitled ‘Triumph in the face of absurdity’ was displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum, (the piece, a collaboration for the 2012 Olympics between the artist and Sir Paul Smith). His 2013 LA exhibition entitled 'Lie Down I Think I Love You' cemented his relationship with the infamous PMM Art Projects, and caused a mass of media interest across America.
Baker’s work explores well-trodden and intrinsically linked themes; life, love, death, terror, joy, despair… with an underlying reference to the classics and a dark humour. Although primarily a painter with an interest in narrative and an understanding of the tradition of painting, in recent years Baker has produced sculptural pieces in a wide and varied choice of materials, (from the anciently traditional to the not so). Baker is also known to purposefully damage his delicate painting, including drilling, cutting and occasionally shooting them with a shotgun, intentionally and inadvertently putting to question the preciousness of art, and adding to the emotive charge of the work he produces.
Damien Hirst says of Baker’s work; “It’s hard to say exactly what makes a painting great… Its flatness and its depth, its ease and its complexity, a kind of preciousness that’s also kind of throwaway, a risk factor. Who gives a damn? Charming Baker’s paintings are great.”