Following his graduation from Bradford Art College in 1998, artist Darren Baker has quickly risen to fame, exhibiting widely with shows throughout Europe, Japan, North America and the UK, including New York and London. He has also developed an impressive portfolio of sports portraits for clubs and personalities alike, with his appointment as official artist of The Professional Footballer’s Association (PFA) affording him considerable recognition within the celebrity industry.
Darren Baker has subsequently produced portraits for other sporting personalities including David Ginola, Peter Schmeichel, Henrik Larsson, Prince Naseem, Nigel Mansell and Jonny Wilkinson, and PFA Footballer of the Year portraits of John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Teddy Sheringham, as well as a tribute to ex-Huddersfield forward Frank Worthington, based on black and white photographs of the player. Sporting clubs who have promoted his art include Manchester United, Leeds United, Glasgow Celtic, Bradford City, Yorkshire Cricket, and Leeds Rhinos. In 1999 a major exhibition of Darren Baker’s work took place at Leeds Civic Hall. The Leeds United Retrospective saw over 30 players represented in oils and pastels, attracting regional and national TV, radio and press attention.
Darren Baker has also been commissioned to produce portraits for HRH Prince Charles and Tony Blair, which hang in St James Palace and Downing Street respectively, and has now produced an wonderfully detailed portrait of Her Majesty the Queen; an accolade accorded to a very small number of painters in the monarch’s lifetime.
Darren Baker’s fine art works span a number of subjects including interiors, figurative works, equestrian and ballet studies, portraits and landscapes; however, it is Darren Baker still life which now attracts critical acclaim. Taking inspiration from the Old Masters and contemporary realist painters, Darren Baker has become a leading light in the genre of Classical Realism, receiving numerous awards including best artist at The Fine Art trade guild ceremony in London and The Garrick Prize, Christies, London. His contemporary paintings are increasingly sought-after by collectors internationally and hang in both public and private art collections including the House of Lords, Downing Street and St James Palace. He recently completed a £90,000 commission from the Bahrain royal family
Darren has recently emailed us with the news that he has been selected to exhibit his fine art at the Florence Biennale, the most prestigious and respected contemporary art event in the world. In his words, 'another fantastic honour. It will be great to exhibit at the home of the renaissance and amongst the old masters'.