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Darren Baker is recognised as one of Britain’s leading artists in classical realism. His inspiration came from the Old Masters as well as contemporary realist painters whilst he perfected a technique which reflects his own extraordinary vision.
THE ARTIST CHOSEN TO PAINT THE QUEEN’S PORTRAIT FOR HER 85TH BIRTHDAY
Born in 1976, Darren Baker went on to Study art at Bradford Art College. After graduating in 1998 he exhibited his work in London and at the age of 23 was invited to exhibit his paintings at a UK millennium show in New York. In 2000 he was appointed official artist of The Professional Footballer’s Association (PFA). He still holds this post which is an ongoing agreement. As a result, Darren has produced an impressive portfolio of portraits for personalities and sports clubs. As well as PFA Footballer of the Year portraits of players including John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Teddy Sheringham, he has also completed portraits of other sportsmen such as Andrew Flintoff, Jonny Wilkinson and Lewis Hamilton.
The centenary painting that was commissioned by the PFA, together with portraits of the PFA’s Chief Executive, Gordon Taylor, hang in Taylor’s office but will eventually be housed in a PFA museum which is a long term project. He was commissioned by the PFA to make a painting of a fictitious football crowd at Wembley Stadium. The impressive oil painting which measures 1 x 1.5m was presented, by the PFA, to the New Children’s Hospital in Manchester in 2009 along with a cheque for one million pounds that had been raised by the PFA.
Signed limited edition prints of the ‘PFA Football Crowd’ have been published by Wendy J Levy and can be purchased from the Prints page on our website. Ten percent of each print sold will be donated to the New Children’s Hospital in Manchester.
Darren Baker’s reputation as a sports painter was further recognised when he was appointed an official artist to the 2012 Olympic Games.
Darren’s non-sporting portraits include those of HRH Prince Charles, as was, and the ex Prime Minister, Tony Blair. A portrait of The Pope was commissioned by The Royal Mint and was worked from photographs. The actual portrait was sent to the Vatican.
The amazing skill of this incredible artist is not confined to portraits and sporting paintings; his precision and attention to detail is equally evident in a variety of subjects such as still life, interiors, figurative, equestrian and ballet. He is equally adept when using pastels, oils, and charcoal.
His pastel work is so fine that one needs a magnifying glass to detect the delicate strokes of the artist’s hand. Deservedly, his skill with pastels has been recognised by the winning of various prestigious awards. He has a passion for painting still life subjects for which he has attracted a great deal of critical acclaim.
Darren Baker’s highest accolade was having been commissioned to paint an official portrait of HRH Queen Elizabeth ll. This is an honour bestowed on only a small number of painters in the monarch’s lifetime. The painting was completed in 2011 in time for the Queen’s 85th birthday. It was unveiled by Princess Anne.
David Johnson of The Sunday Times wrote:
“The Rustic Table’ is a thrilling painting because it embodies that wonderful magic of being two pictures in one: at close quarters the mark of (the artist’s) pastel is so visible to the eye as to win admiration for (his) deftness of touch; but as one moves back and the image sharpens to what we might inadequately call “photographic” realism, the objects within this seemingly “still” life vibrate no less than cubist forms, with such intensity as to demand renewed viewing over and over again. I observed that not only does it capture simultaneously the repose and intimacy of a traditional Dutch still life, but it presents a showcase for Darren’s virtuosity.”
A piece in the ‘International Artist Magazine’ said:
‘Bathed in varying light conditions, he arranges and describes everyday objects with delicate sensitivity. They have a delicious attention to detail. Baker’s paintings also suggest a human presence, the objects are seemingly left in a natural state yet are so artfully organized.’
Darren Baker has received numerous art awards including best artist at The Fine Art trade guild ceremony in London and The Garrick Prize, Christies, London. His paintings are increasingly sought after by International and British art collectors and hang in both public and private art collections including The House of Lords, Downing Street and St James Palace.
This extraordinary artist has received commissions from leading galleries, companies and eminent personalities. As well as his recognition in the UK Darren Baker’s work is also in collections throughout Europe, North America, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates.