“Garbage Pail Kids cards blew my mind,” said accomplished painter, printmaker, and draftsman Glen Baldridge. “My mom would drive me to every gas station in Great Falls, Montana to look for them. I remember the excitement of finding and ripping open those little packages. The play with language combined with the gross out drawings was just the best. That was the first art I collected, and [it] definitely made me want to draw and make art as well as live with it.”
Glen’s recent works have embedded sardonic phrases from youth sub-culture into ultra-complex painted patterns. Often working with traditional craft processes like paper marbling, he obscures the words’ readability. Fissures in the otherwise smooth paint on the surface merge darkness with youth and beauty. Recurring phrases like “No Way” and “Wait, What” invoke a detached attitude juxtaposed by a colorful palette, speaking to attempts to navigate the unpredictable conditions of the current time in history.
But the creative knows that even though it’s his hand painting, he’s not the only one responsible for success. “My dealers, Ryan Wallace (Halsey McKay Gallery), Sam Wilson, Ingrid Bromberg Kennedy, and Rob Hult (Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery) gave me my first shows,” he shared. “They’ve been so supportive of my work through all its weird stages. I have always had a number of other freelance jobs within the art world, and the gallery exhibitions have kept me focused on making my own work and allowed me to flesh out and develop ideas. I love getting weird in the studio the most, and my dealers help facilitate that pursuit and have given me many opportunities to present the work formally.”
Glen’s work doesn’t happen too far from the majority of the rest of his life these days. “My studio is now attached to my home, so it can be difficult to create a separation. I used to ride the subway or road-rage my way to the studio in New York, but now I don’t even have to put on shoes,” he quipped. “Picking up my son from school is a pretty clear switch back to personal life from work. However, I try to keep the creativity flowing and often work on making drawings, paintings, and collages with him. I have a 44-inch roll of sticker paper for my large format inkjet printer. We’ll do a Google image search for “cool cars,” “deep sea animals,” etc. and make sticker collages together. It’s not work, but [it] still gives me ideas that may pop up in the studio.”
Today, Glen Baldridge is joining us with a few of his favorite things for Friday Five!
I have met some of my best friends through making prints. I studied printmaking in college and love hanging around in print shops. I ran Forth Estate Editions (a print publishing company) with Luther Davis for 10 years. Together, we produced over 60 editions with emerging artists and worked with so many great people. I’ve worked as the artist, printer, consultant, and publisher on numerous other editions for other artists and galleries. I love the collective creative problem solving required to compose even the simplest of prints in multiples. Printmaking continues to be an important part of my artistic practice and greatly influences my approach to making paintings as well. Last year, I made print editions with Flying Horse Editions (Orlando, Florida), Du-Good Press (Brooklyn, New York), and Phil Sanders Studio (Asheville, North Carolina). All of those projects have allowed me to travel and brainstorm with master printers about technique and concept, and get me out of my head and my studio. These working relationships continue to grow over many years and multiple projects as well.