Bailin Studio


The Huffington Post

Haiku Reviews

Peter Frank

Josh Dorman and David Bailin both work sensitively on paper and display a ready humor, but their sensibilities and interests are otherwise diametrically opposed which made for stimulating contrast when shown back-to-back. Dorman has been best known for his reconstituted and elaborated fantasy maps, but in his newest work his cartographic impulses have given way to other, equally obsessive and discursive tendencies. Dorman's is still a graphic space, but now opened up with aspects of landscape stylized to be sure, its myriad components, collaged and rendered, shifting rapidly in scale and context and maintaining simultaneously a conceptual intricacy and a visual naivete, rather like late-Gothic manuscript illumination. Indeed, some of the images seem to recount or at least incorporate Biblical fables; others go off on loopy picaresque journeys as if a six-year-old were scripting masterfully assembled cartoons. Bailin, on the other hand, tells very specific stories, or, more to the point, presents incidents that mark a transition in ordinary lives –the ordinary lives of what seem to be minor captains of industry or their mid-level subordinates–to something outside the ordinary. Drawn in charcoal (and coffee!) on large sheets of paper, Bailin's rough-hewn but beautifully detailed pictures present us with men in crisis that is, men who seem to have grasped that their crises have overcome them and require resistance or escape. Bailin captures these Organization Men at their Howard Beale moment, proclaiming "I won't take it anymore" by climbing on or crawling under their desks, turning their offices upside down, or just ducking out of consciousness in the middle of the workday.

Bailin • Fly • 2012 • Charcoal and Coffee on Paper