Born in 1934, Joby Baker is a Canadian-born actor, painter, sculptor, and jewelry artisan. He was raised in the Hawaiian Islands and educated in New York and Los Angeles. In the early 1960’s he began his career as an artist, dividing his time between acting and painting. He was under contract to Columbia Pictures, made many films for them and MGM, Paramount, Universal, Warner Bros., and Disney, including “Girl Happy” with Elvis Presley, The “Gidget” franchise and “Blackbeard’s Ghost". Joby Baker can also be seen in countless television shows from Perry Mason and Dr. Kildare to The Dick Van Dyke Show and Good Morning World. Eventually, the conflict between acting and painting had to be resolved, the decision was not altogether difficult. He became a full time painter and sculptor.
By the 1970’s he was represented by several prominent Los Angeles art galleries. Among them were Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, DeVille Gallery, Landau Gallery, Jacqueline Anhalt Gallery and The McKenzie Gallery where he showed with likes of Rene Magritte, James Gill, Michael Lawrence, Andre Masson and Gifford Myers, to name a few.
In the 1980’s he moved to the East coast with his lyricist and songwriter wife, Dory Previn. By the mid-eighties he was represented by Salander-O’Reilly Galleries in New York, with his first solo show there in 1987. Baker also participated in several group shows at Salander-O’Reilly, along with such notables as Stuart Davis, Eugene Delacroix, Charles Demuth, Nathan Oliveira and Paul Weingarten, among others.
He illustrated The Dory Previn Songbook, published in 1995. Dory wrote of his work, “paintings are sometimes capable of expressing the inexpressible. Joby Baker’s work reaches and digs for that which words are unable to say…he works in that chartless region of the mute soul.”
The art historian and writer Hellmut Wohl said once that Baker has an “infallible sense of the right tone and color…he is the master of the eloquent brushstroke that simultaneously registers form and complex feelings.” Wohl went on to note, “the figures in Joby’s paintings and prints are depicted in situations of anguish, disfigurement or isolation.
Joby Baker’s paintings are in the collections of:
Robert Altman, Alan Arkin, Peter Boyle, Charles Bronson, Dick Van Dyke, Marty Feldman, James Garner, Dennis Hopper, Sally Kellerman, Jack Klugman, Norman Lear, Jack Lemmon, Jerry Lewis, Steve Martin, Ali McGraw, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Georgia O’Keefe, Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner, Lawrence Salander, Tina Sinatra, Dick Smothers, Doug Trumbell, Peter Ustinov, Robert Whitehead, Billy D. Williams, and Hellmut Wohl, among many others.
Lauren Clark Fine Art has been representing Joby Baker since 2014.