(Written in 1977.) "John Baeder's paintings seem to me to differ from most of those of his brilliant Magic-Realist contemporaries in that they are gentle, lyrical and deeply in love with their subjects. Most of the painters of the contemporary Pop scene blow our minds with massive disjunctions, explosive changes of scale, and special kinds of winkless visual focus. Baeder does not employ any of those devices. He sees everything as its own size in its proper environment. His diners fit into their urban context like modest folk heroes"..
"We can thank our luck that human life and art
constantly escape the models we construct for them. My generation excluded the
vulgar Pop world"including that of the Diner, from our consideration and, by
precept, from that of our children - who then grew up and took (the Diner) over
and wove fantasies into it and humanized it and made it art.
"That is what Baeder has done. He is entirely at home in his world, and he irradiates it with the light of his intelligence and with what comes through as the sweetness of his soul. -- Vincent Scully (Professor of Fine Art at YaleUniversity, b.1940), printed as the Introduction to DINERS, by John Baeder (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1978)"
Professor Scully could say the same about Baeder's watercolors of L.A. food trucks, thirty years later. And maybe he has! (All seven of the following images are pictures of watercolor paintings on paper.)*
First, four John Baeder L.A. taco trucks:
La Mexicanita (2003)