Donald Baechler (born 1956 in Hartford, Connecticut) is an American artist. He attended the Maryland Institute College of Art from 1974–77, and Cooper Union from 1977-78. Dissatisfied with New York City, he proceeded to the Staatliche Hochschule fuer Bildende Künste Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main, Germany."At Cooper Union I met some German exchange students. This was 1977, and I found the whole scene at the school to be white and boring, to be honest. It wasn't what I wanted out of art school or what I wanted out of being in New York. The most interesting minds, the most interesting talents and energy came from those German kids. And they said, 'Why don't you come to Germany?' The easiest school to get into was the one attached to the Frankfurt Museum. The entrance requirements were less strict, so I went with it and spent a year in Frankfurt. They were very generous."Baechler returned to New York City in 1980, where he was soon a part of a burgeoning Lower Manhattan arts scene, showing in the East Village and exhibition spaces such as Artists Space and the Drawing Center. Baechler and Tony Shafrazi struck up an acquaintance over a shared interest in artist Joseph Kosuth. Shafrazi was developing an interest in graffiti-oriented works, and founded a downtown gallery that represented Baechler, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf and eventually Jean-Michel Basquiat. In a 2000 interview, Baechler said:Tony obviously had some grander vision about what was going on and decided that it wasn't the end of conceptualism, but the beginning of something else. I never felt entirely comfortable showing my work there because it had nothing to do with what Keith and Kenny Scharf were doing. I wasn't part of this downtown club scene, and I had nothing to do with so-called graffiti art ... I always used to tell people, 'I'm an abstract artist before anything else,' For me, it's always been more about line, form, balance and the edge of the canvas—all these silly formalist concerns—than it has been about subject matter or narrative or politics.Baechler's early work was noted for childlike imagery and thematics—associations which have recurred throughout his career. "Like Art Brut," wrote Steven Vincent in Art in America, "Donald Baechler's seemingly ingenuous depictions of everyday objects and simple figures succeed in large part by tapping into our nostalgia for childhood, that period of life before the rivening onset of self-consciousness and guilt. It's a myth, of course: children are hardly angelic, and alienation is the state of humanity—while Beachler's art works hard to achieve its trademark appearance of prelapsarian sincerity and artlessness."