Since 2005, he has put Alexander Downer in a red door on the beach; Natasha Stott Despoja, Steven Marshall and Kirsten Alexander, mayor of the City of Charles Sturt in full mayoral gown and gold chains, in the sea, drinking tea; two dozen leaders of various faiths holding hands along the water's edge, including both the Anglican and Catholic Archbishops; arranged for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra to play a symphony in the sea; put a herd of cows in the Indian ocean; stood Malcolm Turnbull and over 100 suited volunteers holding umbrellas aloft in the dawn surf at Bondi Beach, then replicated this with Colin Barnett and suited volunteers at Cottesloe beach; seated twelve suited volunteers on toilets reading papers along the water's edge, including Australian politician and former Ambassador to Italy, Amanda Vanstone; and provided brightly coloured sheep to the SA branch of the United Nations Association of Australia "to mark the International Year of Family Farming."
He was born in Colchester, Essex in the United Kingdom, then migrated to Australia with his parents shortly after, and now lives in Adelaide.
Baines grew up in the beachside suburb of Grange in South Australia. His father was a semi-professional soccer player and electrician. His mother was a housewife, who loved painting, reading and music. He has two younger brothers.
He attended Grange Primary and Seaton High School, and later spent two years at the South Australian School of Art.
His mother placed drawing materials in his hands as soon as he could sit up and Baines showed great aptitude, astonishing a kindergarten teacher with his aerial perspective drawing of the area they lived in. He commenced painting classes at the Henley and Grange Art Society at the age of ten. Baines became the cartoonist for the Western Suburbs Schools Soccer Newsletter that same year, earning two dollars a cartoon. He was also an unpaid profile artist for the Grange Primary Newsletter. By age eleven, he was selling pencil sketches for five dollars to teachers and parents at the Grange Primary school.
It wasn't until Baines was in his twenties that he discovered the works of Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Pro Hart and Ken Done, and saw the life he wanted.
In 1979, he left school and began work at John Martins retail store, painting back drops for window displays.
Baines spent 1980 and 1981 at the South Australian School of Art, but dropped out and returned to work at John Martins.
In 1984, he resigned from John Martins to start Baines Graphics, producing murals, cartoons, etc., for high-profile companies, such as BP Australia, Australian Grand Prix, and the S.A. Soccer Federation.
In 1999, he became a full-time painter.
He is represented by BMG Art (Adelaide), Gallery One (Southport, QLD), Hotham Street Contemporary (Melbourne, Vic), Gallows Gallery (Mosman Park, WA), Paint Box Fine Art (Canberra, ACT), Soho Galleries (Sydney, NSW), Artery Contemporary Art Gallery (Perthshire, Scotland), Blackheath Gallery (London, UK), Stax Gallery (Ontario, Canada), Richard Goodall Gallery (Manchester, UK), Mehta Gallery (New Delhi, India), and Karin Weber Gallery (Hong Kong).
Baines's work has attracted media attention through his "human sculptures" on coasts around the country, which have parallels with the work of Storm Thorgerson, known for his Pink Floyd album covers.
Since 2005, he has created dozens of installations on Australian beaches, collaborating with Hills Hoist, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Leigh Warren Dance Company, Holstein Australia, the Western Australian State Gallery, Anglicare, Flinders Medical Centre Foundation and Wirra Wirra Vineyards. Volunteer subjects have included Malcolm Turnbull, Colin Barnett, Sir James & Lady Hardy, Sir Eric & Lady Neal, and Amanda Vanstone, among many others.
Busselton Bovines (February 2011) involved placing five Holstein Friesian cattle in the sea at Busselton, Western Australia. It came about when Baines was approached by representatives of the national Dairy Innovators' Forum at a gallery opening in Perth. A few local dairies agreed to take on the challenge of introducing their cows to the sea. Two months later the cows stood happily in the shallows, long enough for photographs to be taken. Local media embraced the event and news of the installation went global.
Post Modern Backyard (May 2011) involved transporting eight full size Hills Hoists to Bondi Beach, New South Wales from Adelaide, and have them erected. Hills loved the concept and organised two professional erecters and eight Hills hoists to be in place at 5 am on Bondi beach.
In Waiting for the Bus (September 2012) one hundred "bowler hat-wearing, classic 'Englishmen'" lined up along Henley Beach and struggled to read the newspaper in the wind.
The Coalition of the Constipated (August 2012) at Henley Beach, South Australia was a political statement, made to highlight the need for toilet facilities at the popular beach. Amanda Vanstone and radio personality, Bob Francis, were involved in the installation. Vanstone had purchased his paintings, for herself and the Australian Embassy in Rome, when she was Ambassador, and Baines had painted Bob Francis' portrait as an entry in the Archibald Prize competition. Soho Galleries Sydney described it as his "most famous installation/photo shoot ... a guerrilla protest that featured 12 suited people sitting on toilets reading papers, on the water's edge at Henley".
Doorways to Potential (January 2013) was a fundraiser, developed to raise awareness for non-profit charity Common Ground Adelaide, which provides assistance and aid to homeless people in the area. Local men, including Alexander Downer, contributed $1,500 each to the charity to participate, dressing in suits and bowler hats and gathering together on the beach, as a symbol of the possibilities that the future holds.
Sea of Knowledge (February 2014) gathered people aged in their 70s, 80s and 90s on Henley Beach for a photoshoot to "portray their lives, roles and sea of knowledge in a bid to challenge the stereotypes of ageing."
Amongst others, Baines has been commissioned to paint a book cover for Surf Life Saving in S.A., a wine label painting for Wirra Wirra Vineyard, a CD cover painting for ABC Classics, featuring the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra's Principal tuba player Peter Whish-Wilson, and the cover for Steven Ogden's book I Met God in Bermuda.
Andrew Baines' work can be found in:Adelaide University
ANZ Bank, Singapore
Australian Embassy, Rome, Italy
Nichi Engineering, Malaysia
St Aloysius College
St Hilda's Anglican School for Girls
State Emergency Service South Australia
Wirra Wirra Winery, South Australia
His paintings have been exhibited in:Accent Fine Art, NSW
Accent Fine Art, WA
Adelaide Hilton International Gallery, SA
Art Images Gallery, SA
Aviva Fine Art Gallery, Vic
Axia Modern, VIC
Bay Discovery Gallery, SA
BMG Art, SA
Framed the Darwin Gallery, NT
Gallows Gallery, WA
Glenn Gallery, SA
Greenaway Gallery, Vic
Greenhill Galleries, SA
Greenwood Gallery, VIC
Harrison Galleries, NSW
Hester Gallery, NSW
Jahroc Gallery, WA
Jenny Pihan Fine Art, VIC
Lombard Art Gallery, SA
Lynne Wilton Gallery, VIC
Maree Mizon Gallery, NSW
Monsoon Gallery, WA
Paint Box Fine Art, ACT
Pilbara Fine Art Gallery, WA
Pivotal Gallery, VIC
Raglan Gallery, NSW
Red Dot Gallery, SA
Redhill Gallery, QLD
Rembar Gallery, Vic
Richard Martin Gallery, NSW
Rushcutters Bay Gallery, NSW
Stafford Studios of Fine Art, WA
Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery, NSW
TVH Gallery, NSW
Xanadu Gallery, WA
Shayne Gallery, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Karin Weber Gallery, Hong Kong
International Surrealism Now, Lisbon, Portugal
Artery Gallery, St Andrews, Scotland
Red Sea Gallery, Singapore
Galerie TOAAC Switzerland
Dart Gallery Devon, United Kingdom
Blackheath Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Susan Street Fine Art Gallery, California, US
Gallery Diamante, California, USA
Joanne Coia Gallery, Florida, USA
Baines has been awarded in the following competitions:Adelaide Cathedral Art Prize, SA (Finalist, 2006)
Adelaide Fringe Festival Poster Competition, SA (Finalist, 2006)
Corangamarah Art Prize, VIC (Finalist, 2008)
Cromwell's Art Prize, NSW (Finalist, 2004)
Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, NSW (Finalist, 2004 & 2006) (Semi-finalist, 2013)
Fleurieu Art Prize (Finalist, 2004, 2006 & 2008)
Gray Mast Art Prize, SA (Finalist, 2004)
Heysen Prize for Landscape, SA (Finalist, 2005)
Maritime Art Awards, VIC (Finalist, 2009)
Mortimore Art Prize for Surrealism, NSW (Finalist, 2012)
Nora Heysen Art Prize for Still Life, SA (Finalist, 2011)
Spirit of the Outback, QLD (Finalist, 2005)
Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize, SA (Finalist, 2004, 2006 & 2007)
Whyalla Art Prize, SA (Finalist, 2007 & 2009)
Baines is listed in the Lexikon der phantastischen Künstler.
His paintings have appeared in such publications as ArtSlant New York, Glow Magazine, and Messenger.
A 2009 episode of Landline features Baines's interest in painting cows.
Ash Starkey uploaded a three-minute screener to YouTube in 2010, which contains scenes from a half-hour documentary, Edge of Nothingness, that he made about Andrew Baines.
In 2013, Photography Life released a one-minute time lapse film on Vimeo of Andrew Baines setting up his installation, Doorways to Potential, on Henley Beach in South Australia.
Anna Creoddity released a short film (2014) on YouTube called Art Day! Andrew Baines, in which she shows and discusses his art work.
In 2014, Andrew Baines and Gian Carlo Petraccaro produced a short film called Escape of the Corporate Battery Hens, which shows many South Australian identities in unguarded moments, including Amanda Vanstone, Steven Marshall, Vickie Chapman and Kirsten Alexander, former Mayor of the City of Charles Sturt.
Baines is married to Jacqueline Baines (Pharaoh) (m. 1987–); three daughters, Skye Baines (1990–), Jemma Baines (1994–) and Amber Baines (1996–)."I start at 6 am just about every morning and I work until 3 pm. It's amazing how much you can achieve."
"I create a sort of sketch/collage from all the best parts of my photo reference, to create my concept. I then reproduce my sketch on to the canvas via a graph technique, so it's exactly the same as my sketch proportions. I then paint on almost any size canvas."
"One morning my dad took me onto the London underground, where I was greeted by a sea of bouncing bowler hats perched on suits, all bumbling slowly along, towards a decelerating train. The sight seemed quite bizarre, almost comical to an Adelaide youngster."
"My concept in my paintings is 'escape of the corporate battery hen', so what I do is I get business people and I put them in the water and that's my metaphorical way of letting them get away from their grey city streets and offices to enjoy nature."
"I try to give paintings to charity. Life is not a one way ride, we are part of a community and you should give back."