Press Release

"I began using flower images about ten years ago, I guess. I don't think I painted flowers at all until 1987. Then I started doing flower collages that were similar to the Crowd collages I was doing at the time. THese colalges were done almost entirely in hotel rooms while traveling, and I was looking for things that I could draw repeatedly. The resulting collages were accumulations of similar things: heads, socks, flowers, whatever. It had to be something that had a certain kind of complexity, like a head, but that was also simple enough and generic enough to be repeatable. I wanted the components of a given collage to be all the same yet different. and the tulip heads that I chose to do then fit the bill. They had a lot of detail, but they were easilyrepeatable, just like the heads.

The flowers is a wonderful thing because it allows for exploration of color and form. I often see flowers as surrogates for human forms, ina  funny way. They have heads and arms and bodies. That sounds really corny actually, but in fact it ends up being more true than I wish it were. My work has often been preoccupied with a centralized figure. In the 80's, it was mostly a human figure.More recently it's become the flowers. They occupy the same kind of space: vertical and central."

-Donald Baechler, from The Flower Thief: A Monologue, excerpt from the exhibition catalog