A particular gesture, a glance or a certain posture: to Bo Bakker, these elements are crucial to characterizing a person in his portraits.
Bo Bakker was born in the Netherlands in 1953, on one of the many freight ships on the rivers and canals of that country. After seven years on that ship, he went to school and finally graduated in graphic, painting and monumental arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy in Amsterdam, where he at present still lives and works.
Though at art school and also afterwards, he made several portraits, he never thought he once would specialize in this genre.
Actually if he had not been driven out of his atelier by the heavy music which filled the city, upon a beautiful Queens day in spring, and had not gone back to fetch his camera, he would never have come to that.
The photographs he took that day, and many days afterwards, fascinated him just because of the uninhibited character of these. However, he missed the magic of painting in photography that much, that he started to combine these two disciplines.
So he made a series of paintings of people this way, till someone asked: ‘Why don’t you paint portraits?’, and from then on, since 2000, he mainly has been painting portraits.
He paints in oil, in one layer, wet in wet.