American artist, John Baeder (born December 24, 1938), is one of the best known Photorealists. First appearing on the art scene in the early 1970’s as one of the leading masters of Post War American Realism, John Baeder masterfully defined “Classic Americana” in his roadside diner paintings and photographs.
Baeder studied at Auburn University in Alabama. His subjects have been almost exclusively isolated roadside diners and eateries. That an artist can concentrate so masterfully on one theme enticed Abrams to publish “Diners by John Baeder” in 1978. John Baeder’s calculated and nostalgic renderings of “classic Americana” theme diners have brought him great appeal and success. As Gerrit Henry commented in “Super Realism: A Critical Anthology” (Dutton 1975); in “In Photo-Realism, reality is made to look so overpoweringly real as to make it pure illusion: through the basically magical means of point-for-point precisionist rendering the actual is portrayed as being so real that it doesn’t exist. What does exist off the canvas is the mind, which conceived of the idea of the painting of a photograph of reality, in all its intrinsic implausibility. Whereas classical painters through the ages have idealized reality itself, the “classical” New Realists have totally devalued reality in order vastly to overvalue (in other words, completely abstract) the human brain. Photo-Realism is basically not realism at all. More correctly, it is the plastic offshoot of today’s conceptual arts.”