by Mike Rhode
Ralph Baden's work at Artomatic was quite a surprise as it's often NSFW, or families. The centerpiece of his exhibit is a large painting of a man with an erect penis and a caption that wouldn't make it through many Internet filters. We reached out to him to ask our usual questions, some of which are less relevant to a painter than a cartoonist, and he gamely answered them.
What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?
Large scale political satire and comical oil paintings.
How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?
Oil painting on canvas.
When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?
What neighborhood or area do you live in?
What is your training and/or education in cartooning?
The Corcoran School of Art
Who are your influences?
I'm doing pretty original stuff. Nobody takes oil painting and makes the most vulgar painting -- except maybe the old Dutch masters -- paintings where people got drunk in the streets -- they were funny.
If you could, what in your career would you do-over or change?
To do it over I'd have to have a career- but I would have gone twice as loud, twice as big and twice as early.
What work are you best-known for?
Nobody knows of me -- I'm amazed you contacted me.
What work are you most proud of?
In 2016, being expelled from 2 un-juried shows with 2 completely different bodies of work -- also not being allowed to sell at a farmers market under the freeway by the prison in Baltimore because my work wasn't family friendly... and also not being accepted into The Bromo Seltzer building because my work was considered"too unique".
What would you like to do or work on in the future?
Bigger larger scales. I would like to have a room full of people laughing at my work at The Met or The MOMA
What do you do when you're in a rut or have writer's block?
Stare at a light bulb.
What do you think will be the future of your field?
Trash can, dumpster, landfill.
What monument or museum do like to take visitors to?
The Phillips -- I love to go sit in the Mark Rothko meditation room and wonder why.
How about a favorite local restaurant?
Do you have a website or blog?