David Baca started drawing at a very young age when his brother’s accurate sketches of cars inspired him to pick up a pencil. Baca began to create his earliest work – drawings of houses on rugged mountainsides with bridges connecting them.
Those early beginnings led to Baca’s decision in 1983 to dedicate his life to being an artist. Living in New Mexico at the time, Baca’s early career began with pastel drawings and monotypes of representational southwest landscapes. He was selling everything he produced. That period lasted for approximately four years during which time he evolved to a full time painter.
In February of 1988, Baca took his career to NYC and began to transition from pastels and monotypes into acrylic paintings. He left his previous inventory behind, ready to start afresh and expand his career outside of a regional style. His paintings were large explosions of inner city glimpses as he began to find his niche in urban-inspired landscapes. Private representation by art dealer Marcel Sitcoske, who hung Baca’s newest work in her 3000 square foot Washington Avenue loft, resulted in years of uninterrupted painting. He was creating commissions for clients across the country and hosting solo shows in Manhattan art galleries; he had broken out of regionalism and felt limitless when it came to his growing art career.
In 1990, the building where Baca lived burned well beyond repair in a rampant fire. Luckily he had just shipped out a large commission and many of his pieces were on display his private dealer’s loft, yet Baca lost a considerable amount of paintings, materials, and memories. Undaunted, he reassembled paint, canvases, and a new studio within a few days – ready to begin again. The powerful screeching emotions erupting from the fire fueled an important body of work called The Fire Paintings. Utilizing this profound experience Baca landed a solo show in Soho at Gallery 63. After another year and a half, he returned to New Mexico.
While living in the East Village, Baca met a woman named Cora Bettcher who in the mid-90s opened Bettcher Gallery in Miami. Soon Baca had a show in her new space. At first she was exhibiting the work he had previously done, but as his trips and experiences in Florida continued, he found a new palette and focus.
Fast forward to 2000 – Baca believes his current body of work is a triumph. Spatial compositions, the use of drawing, and the confident looseness in these paintings prove that his past choices have provided a well-based platform for his current abstractions.