David Bailin Artist's fine hand finds humor in human plight.
David Bailin describes his work as Kafkaesque, cites critic Harold Bloom on his website and believes the humor in his work can be compared to that of deadpan comedian Buster Keaton. Yet, he says Arkansas created who he is as an artist, and he can't imagine living anywhere else. Bailin, who moved to Arkansas in 1986 with his wife, Amy Stewart, a lawyer, is a cerebral artist whose drawings are narrative works that reflect an evolution of his ideas in archetypical form. As a younger man, there was his larger-than-life Minyan series of 10 exquisitely drawn charcoals of images from the Holocaust overlain by symbols of Kabbalah, as if the symbols of Jewish mysticism could provide a healing blessing on the dead and living. That led to his Midrash series, his interpretations of Biblical stories in larger-than-life-sized charcoals, peopled by men in slacks and belts, women in shirtwaist dresses and purses, Yahweh wearing a tie. That was followed by what he calls the "cubicle" series, scenes of drab offices and desperate or sometimes pointless activity, and after that his "Dreams and Disasters" series.