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The Drawings

I don't finish drawings, I exhaust the possibilities in each rendering. I revise and rework and more than likely destroy drawings.

I draw until the figure and the environment have weight—plasticity and narrative. I draw until I find a hook that sustains my viewing for more than a couple of days. If that hook doesn't last, then I go back to revising. Whatever began the drawing–the studies, the initial idea–is started again when I pick up my piece of charcoal. These drawings are the results of those searches.

The Drawings
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Like a drawing, view the series

I create drawings in a series. Each series starts with an idea that determines not only the subject matter but also the techniques to create it. If you like one of the drawings one this page, you should visit the complete series and view the other drawings. 

The most current series are highlighted below.

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Gatherings

I dislike crowds. They make me uncomfortable. Especially groups of people congregating around a single idea or ideology. They are the Cossacks that terrorized my ancestors and who terrorize us now. This series shows only the gathering. What threatens them is rarely real but it is they who haunt my dreams.

— David Bailin • 2022

View Gatherings
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Fire Cycle

After several years working on the large-scale Erasing Series, I'm drawing small. The poem, The Fire Cycle, by Zachary Schomburg from his book Scary, No Scary, published by Black Ocean Press, 2009, inspired me with so many visual ideas of solicitude and sublime immolation that I couldn't resist exploring his brilliant vision.

View the Fire Cycle
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The Erasing

In his artist statement about his current drawing series, "The Erasing," Bailin, 62, writes: "As an artist who witnessed the waning of my father’s personhood through the dissolution of his memory, I wrestled with how to convey the devastating personal and human experience of memory loss without relying on visual clichés." The answer to that question is revealed in the creative process of the artworks of "The Erasing": draw, erase part of the drawing, repeat, repeat, repeat.

— Ellis Widner • Into The Void • 2017

View the Erasings
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Dreams & Disasters

The drawings in [this series] are ephemeral and dreamlike, […] and the figures and settings emerge out of Bailin’s marks—marks of abstraction, gesture, texture, and motion—as if surfacing within one’s consciousness out of white noise. […] His works skirt the edge of abstraction...

— Christopher Michno • Exhibition Review • art ltd, 2014

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C

Bailin … presents incidents that mark a transition in ordinary lives–the ordinary lives of what seem to age minor captains of industry or their mid-level subordinates–to something outside the ordinary. Drawn in charcoal (and coffee!) on large sheets of paper, Bailin’s rough-hewn but beautifully detailed pictures present us with men in crisis–that is, men who seem to have grasped that their crises have overcome them and require resistance or escape.

— Peter Frank • Haiku Reviews • Huffipost.com, 2012

View C drawings
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Paper Trails

[Bailin's] interiors and landscapes made since 2001 are as likely to resonate with texts by Eco or Borges as with anonymous images plucked from old magazines and newspapers. […] Bailin approaches each blank page as if a theatrical space to be occupied, activated. Each sheet becomes the site of a performance—Bailin’s own gestural charcoal dance and his character’s parallel search for a place, a form, a moment of reprieve.

— Leah Ollman • Catalog Essay • 2008

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Lines of Thought

Drawing Conclusions Blog

Observations on Art and art process from the studio

Read the Conclusions
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Garage studio located in Little Rock, AR [2001-2022].

IDENTITY Insight

This show features the work of ten Koplin Del Rio artists and completes the series of three IDENTITY exhibitions introducing the gallery’s artists to a Seattle audience.