Ian David Baker: Weaving Time Through Photography

Ian David Baker: Weaving the Vibrant '80s through His Lens.
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Ian David Baker:

 Weaving Time Through Photography

HeyBoy Exclusive

Ian David Baker:

 Weaving Time Through Photography

HeyBoy Exclusive

Photographer: Ian David Baker

Birthplace : London, England

Weaving Time Through Photography

Exclusive Interview

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In the realm of image-making, there exist artists like Ian David Baker who craft more than just photographs—they weave narratives of time. Through his lens, moments of the 1980s— alive with youth culture, protests, parades—become threads interlaced into a vibrant tapestry. His work, intimate and raw, is an echo of the past, challenging us to perceive the familiar in an entirely new light.

From capturing the pulsating rhythm of London’s youth culture to his intimate nude portraiture, Baker’s journey is as dynamic as his subjects. This exclusive interview invites us to share in his journey, explore his influences, inspirations, and the details of his remarkable collaborations.

So we celebrate Ian David Baker—the artist, the photographer, the chronicler of time. We invite you, dear reader, to appreciate his unique contribution to the world of photography and beyond. For each captured moment is but a thread in the grand tapestry of his artistic journey—a wondrous journey indeed.

In the realm of image-making, there exist artists like Ian David Baker who craft more than just photographs—they weave narratives of time. Through his lens, moments of the 1980s— alive with youth culture, protests, parades—become threads interlaced into a vibrant tapestry. His work, intimate and raw, is an echo of the past, challenging us to perceive the familiar in an entirely new light.

From capturing the pulsating rhythm of London’s youth culture to his intimate nude portraiture, Baker’s journey is as dynamic as his subjects. This exclusive interview invites us to share in his journey, explore his influences, inspirations, and the details of his remarkable collaborations.

So we celebrate Ian David Baker—the artist, the photographer, the chronicler of time. We invite you, dear reader, to appreciate his unique contribution to the world of photography and beyond. For each captured moment is but a thread in the grand tapestry of his artistic journey—a wondrous journey indeed.

Q) Ian, you’ve had an extensive career, spanning across several disciplines. How would you describe the evolution of your artistry?

Accidental and unplanned. Freelance jobs come and go, feast or famine.

Q) Your work in nude portraiture is intimate and raw. Can you share some insights into your approach to this specific style of photography?

Didn’t know what I was doing to start with, luckily selling photo sessions, while learning. So natural light photos were made because it was available at no expense. I did get some backdrops later using a Metz Hammerhead flash to bounce the light from the side.

But liked to keep the intimacy rather than look like a studio shoot. Plus talking to the model, finding out about there life is a good icebreaker and relaxer for both model and photographer.

Q) Your book “Younger Days” brings together much of your work from the 1980s. Can you share a bit about what this book means to you and how it encapsulates the essence of that era?

Gay Men’s Press came to me with a very different idea, that did not appeal, but a compromise was reached and Aubrey Walter was fine editor to put images together. It was also well printed, with good tones.

Q) The scenes you captured in the ’80s – be it protests or parades – still resonate powerfully today. Why do you think these images continue to hold such relevance?

Yes they were more protests than Pride early on, more police than marchers. Then later they become historic as a struggle for acceptance and law changes.

I was lucky enough to have images in an exhibition at City Hall London “Love Happens Here” An exhibition celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality. Curated by Karen McQuaid Senior curator of The Photographer’s Gallery

Q) In recent times, you’ve collaborated with Jonathan Anderson on a range of products featuring your black-and-white photos. How did this collaboration come about, and what was your experience like?

Amazing, out of the blue in 2015 Jonathan phoned me and took time out of his frantically busy schedule to visit and buy a shed load of my photo prints. Later selling some online through his website, gaining me more public profile. Then two years later a collaboration, with images on merchandise and the book.

Q) The photos in the book curated by Jonathan Anderson are hand-selected. Can you give us a glimpse into the selection process? How were the final images chosen?

A couple of rough idea and layouts were mooted, then Jonathan completely rehashed the whole thing over a weekend and I liked the mix of street and model photos.

Q) As a photographer, how important do you feel it is to be in tune with the cultural and social shifts of the time, especially considering your work in the 1980s?

I was aware and part of the Left leaning scene, volunteering days on publications as there wasn’t much money around. Not until I look back do I realise  how busy I was and living through those times in a haze. Luckily I stopped drinking in the late Eighties and work took a different direction.

Q) Your photographs have been exhibited and sold on www.jwanderson.com. How has this online platform contributed to the dissemination and reach of your work?

It raised my public profile allowing me to sell prints to a wide audience. Now that’s history and “I live in comfortable obscurity” (borrowed from Saul Leiter)

Q) Many negatives of your early photos no longer exist, making the prints highly valued collectors’ items. How does it feel knowing that these pieces of history are being preserved in such a way?

Hardly any as previously mentioned, though I still have a few colour slides.

From the Noughties I mostly took photos of females. I’m not sure the earlier photos contribute to history. They haven’t saved the world. Though some are in a collectors vaults alongside Robert Mapplethorpe & Larry Clark, that’s an achievement for me.

Q) In your personal collection of photographs, is there any particular image that has a special story or sentiment attached to it?

It’s the interaction with the models, not to be misread, a few I am still in contact with.

Q) Lastly, what advice do you have for emerging artists who are trying to make their mark in a constantly changing artistic landscape?

Just do it. Be passionate about your work, be aware of the masters of photography. As teacher from Art School said, “Live, breathe, eat and sleep Art.” I was lucky to get the breaks through chance meetings in a pubs now it’s a social media circus… don’t forget your hashtags.

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