This deftly executed graphite drawing focuses on the gestures of two attendees of a White House cabinet meeting. This work is part of the artist’s series President’s Men that features power brokers as a recurring subject. Influenced by her deep knowledge of art history, Baker employs classic academic techniques to create virtuosic drawings; her work frequently explores the concepts of power and masculinity in politics, history and finance. The artist crops and obscures certain information in her works to focus on what can be discerned about status in a gesture or a single image—creating compelling observations of an empire in decline.
Melanie Baker’s drawings explore concepts of power and masculinity in the arenas of politics, history and finance. The artist’s portraits of people in powerful positions feature details that implicate how their policies impact the planet. Baker’s work deftly combines a virtuous handling of charcoal and graphite with classic academic techniques drawn from a deep knowledge of art history—creating compositions that serve as compelling observations of an empire in decline.