Self-Taught Art

Pharaoh Baker

Pharaoh Baker believed in the Bible and his paintings illustrate chapter and verse. Long lines, like woodcuts, and colors that vivify the artist's suffering distinguish the paintings; as a youth he'd seen a black man lynched. His images narrate Christian themes within a Southern black cultural ethos: Peter is crucified upside down; Christ sips wine during his last earthly night in the Garden of Gethsemane; Judas bestows the “kiss of death” on Jesus’ cheek.