Beverly Baker

*1961, United States

Beverly Baker was born in Kentucky with Down’s syndrome. Because of her disability, she was hired to destroy hard copies of official documents, such as tax returns or prison reports.

She took the documents home and used them as material for her first drawings. On the initiative of her parents, she has been a member of the Latitude Artist Community in Lexington, Kentucky since 2001, where she can continue to develop her artistic talent. She works at her desk in an almost ritualistic way: She groups books and newspapers together, opened to the page of her choice, and arranges them around a blank sheet of paper. This protects the paper from its environment, almost like an impenetrable wall. She creates her drawings by placing texts she finds in the books and newspapers on top of one another. She draws on the sheet of paper, erases some of the original letters and adds additional words and lines. It is difficult to retrace the words in her very abstract compositions. She creates a particular kind of suspense, on the one hand, through the letters which are often positioned on the paper in a serial order and, on the other hand, with the thick strips of ink that she presses into the paper. This gives rise to dynamic and compact forms. She uses ballpoint pens, coloured pencils and markers. Beverly Baker’s work can be seen, for example, in the collection abdc/Bruno Decharme, France and in the Treger-Saint Silvestre collection, Portugal.

 

Selected works