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KUOW Presents

Painter Gabrielle Bakker: Classicism, Cubism And The Pursuit Of Excellence

Dave Beck

Gabrielle Bakker is a Seattle artist whose work carries on the tradition of the old master painters. She admires the artwork of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and the Renaissance. She paints with painstaking attention to detail, maintaining the high standards of the classical masters. Her quest for excellence makes her fiercely self–critical.

In her early career, Gabrielle's classically inspired paintings sold for thousands of dollars and found their way into the art collections of celebrities like actor Harrison Ford. Her excellent reputation as a painter was based on her classical work. But when Gabrielle proposed experimenting with new ideas and styles her art dealer told her that was a bad idea.

With the encouragement of friends and fellow artists, Gabrielle decided to take the risk and give herself permission to explore new worlds of creativity. She still fiercely holds on to her high standards of excellence and her dedication to principles of classical painting. But now her classically–based style has expanded to include images and ideas from Japanese mythology, geisha culture, cubist art and the mythical world of the Minotaur. Her work has a stylistic richness and sly sense of humor that wasn't there before. Some of her paintings now sell for tens of thousands of dollars, and she's found a new confidence in her work and artistic vision that helps her through the inevitable crises of confidence that we all encounter in the pursuit of excellence.

KUOW's Dave Beck speaks with Gabrielle Bakker.

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