Detailesque: Mike Bayne

Over the years, Kingston-based painter Mike Bayne has been trying to get the details right. He paints small versions of houses, buildings and signs (the most frequent size is four-by-six inches, the largest is 16 by 24 inches). “It seems to get more intricate every few years,” he says about the evolution of his practice, “as I become unsatisfied with the level of detail.”

Viewers would be hard-pressed to recognize the source of his dissatisfaction. Bayne’s paintings are subtly coloured and intensely realized. He locates himself within a tradition of painters working in a scrupulously representational mode–Johannes Vermeer, Giovanni Antonio Canaletto, Antonio López García, Andrew Wyeth and, more recently, Tim Gardner and Karel Funk–painters who inhabit spaces that move towards the meditative and the melancholic. “The thing I produce is the opposite of much of what we’re surrounded by. I just think there’s room for something that is quiet and subtle in visual culture, as well as things that are big and bombastic.” …

Volume 28, Number 2

This article originally appeared in Border Crossings #110, published June 2009.

Border Crossings looks at contemporary art with interest, passion and thoroughness. Subscribe to Border Crossings today for as little as $24/year.