Artist Statement -

Royal Artist
&<8232;Official BT Artist to the 2012 Olympic Games
Darren Baker has become one of the UK’s most collectable artists since his remarkable portrait of the Queen was unveiled by Princess Anne at Westminster Abbey in 2011. Darren has painted Prime Ministers, Royalty and the sporting elite, and his celebrated works hang in collections from 10 Downing Street and the House of Lords to St James’s Palace. His oil paintings and charcoals have attracted critical and popular acclaim - the Sunday Times described his work as "thrilling" and "virtuosic" - and his paintings are increasingly sought after by art collectors from the UK, Europe, the USA and Japan.

Darren has enjoyed a level of success that most artists only dream of. He has produced an impressive portfolio of figurative work and portraiture, still life and interiors, cityscapes, and animal portraiture which graces many prestigious public and private collections around the world. He has worked alongside and produced paintings for such star sporting names as Lewis Hamilton, Steven Gerrard and Amir Khan, while his non-sporting portraits include HRH Prince Charles and Tony Blair. His portrait of Pope John Paul II was greeted with a personal message of appreciation from the Vatican.

Darren was born in Yorkshire in 1976. Far a young contemporary artist to achieve this kind of status and recognition is extremely rare and can only be put down to Darren’s unique gift for naturalistic description. The authenticity of his figures causes a momentary confusion in the viewer as each nuance is conveyed with such accuracy and truth that we find ourselves questioning whether we are looking at a beautiful photograph, or an extraordinary painting.

Darren has received numerous awards including The Garrick Prize at Christies, London. He also enjoys a range of artistic appointments including Official Artist to the Professional Footballers’ Association (the PFA) and Official Artist to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He is now acknowledged as one of the leading painters of the classical realism genre, and his style displays the influences of both the Dutch Masters and the contemporary realist school.

As a keen supporter of, and tireless fundraiser for the Prince’s Trust, Darren has worked closely with the charity and has been personally thanked by the Prince of Wales for his ongoing contribution to the success of many major projects.

Sir John Kiszely KCB MC, National President of The Royal British Legion said; "It is clear Darren Baker has produced one of the most remarkable realistic portraits of our Monarch this century."

Gordon Taylor, Professional Footballers Association, Chief Executive
There is nothing better than to see a young footballer make the grade when you spotted him at an early age and he goes on to achieve the highest levels of expectation and in a similar way in the art world, Darren Baker has shown similar talent inspiration and dedication to reach the top culminating in him being asked to do a portrait of Her Majesty The Queen. 

Artist Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions
2003 D. Baker: Paintings, The Darren baker gallery, Saltaire
2003 D. Baker: profile artist, Homfirth art exhibition, W. Yorks
2002 D. Baker: Paintings, The Darren baker Gallery, saltaire
2002 D. Baker: Paintings, Quaker Gallery, London
2001 D. Baker: Paintings, Massarella Fine Art, Saltaire
2000 Darren Baker, Hanover Gallery, Liverpool
1999 Leeds United Retrospective, Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds
1999 Darren Baker, AC Gallery, Huddersfield
1998 Debut, Drury Lane Gallery, London
1998 Darren Baker, Michael Walker Fine Arts, London

Group exhibitions
2003 British art fair, commonwealth institute, London
2003 Seventhwave fine art, Unilever, Liverpool
2003 Fine art trade show, UK galleries tour
2003 Not the turner prize, mall galleries, London
2003 tradition with a twist, frank sabin, London
2003 The art of pastel, W H Patterson fine arts, London
2003 International still -life, cork st, London
2003 The Pastel Society, Mall Galleries, London
2002 Christmas show, W.H Patterson fine arts, London
2002 JHW Finearts show, Cork st, London
2002 Imageart, Chelsea Design Harbour, London
2002 Musical Interlude, W. H Patterson Fine Arts, London
2002 The Pastel Society, Mall Galleries, London
2001 Royal Birmingham Society of artists, RBSA Gallery
2001 Weaverbird art fair, Bolton Abbey exhibition centre
2001 Yorkshire Open, Wakefield Arts mill, Wakefield
2001 Gallery Artists, Manchester Art House, Manchester
2001 Leeds Open, Leeds city art gallery, Leeds
2001 Stockport Open, Stockport Art Gallery, Manchester
2001 Royal Academy summer exhibition, London
2001 Paperleaf art fair, Battersea arts centre, London
2001 Gallery Artists, Collins and Hastie, London
2000 NYAD UK Art Show, Dfn Gallery, New York
2000 British Society of Painters, Winter Gardens, Ilkley
1999 L.U.P.M.A, Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds
1999 Cheltenham Open, Cheltenham and Glouchester College, Cheltenham
1999 Manchester Academy of Fine Arts, Bury Art Gallery, Bury
1998 Chichester Open, Sotheby’s Auction House, Leeds
1998 Middlesborough Open, Cleveland Gallery, Middlesborough
1998 Bradford Open, Cartwright Hall, Bradford
1997 Holmfirth Open, Holmfirth Civic Hall, Holmfirth
1997 Contemporary College, Cubal Cain Foundation, Harrogate

Artist Publications

Annabelle Rushton, Art business today, May 2003
Mike Sims, Art business today, Oct 2003
Michael Hellicar, Mail on Sunday, Jul 2003
Steve Bicton, Yorkshire Post, Nov 2002
Review, London evening standard, Jan 2002
Theo Philcox, International still-life oil painters, May 2002 Annabelle Miron, International Artist magazine, Mar 2001
Phil Key,Gallery of Sporting Greats, Liverpool Daily Post, Aug 2000
Sophie Louard, Art Club, CNN, Aug 2000
Art review. HRH Portrait, Daily Mirror Jan 2000
Amber Cowan, Metro, Guardian, Nov 1999
Hugh Sleight, The art of football, Match magazine, Oct 1999
Neil Jeffries, Painter Man, Leeds Magazine, Oct 1999
Karen Joyner, Features, Yorkshire Evening Post, Sept 1999
John Woodcock, ‘Heroes stand United’, Yorkshire Post, Aug 1999
Ian Dennis, Leeds retrospective, Radio Leeds, Aug 1999
Verity Hughes, Leeds, Leeds, Leeds, Radio Aire, Aug 1999
Look North, ‘What’s On’, BBC North, Aug 1999
Nigel Bunyan, Leeds Retrospective, Daily Telegraph, Aug 1999
Nixon Bashir, Darren Baker, Eastern Eye, Jun 1999
Tony Pogson, Features, Huddersfield Examiner, Jan 1999
Richard Purvis, Art auction, Pulse FM, Jan 1999
Robin Capon, Sporting art, Leisure Painter magazine, Jan 1999


Artist Collections

Professional Footballers Association, Manchester, UK
St James Palace, London
10 Downing st, London
Unilever Uk, Liverpool
Clive Christian, Harrogate
Richard Whiteley, Leeds
Leeds United F.C., Leeds
Granada TV, Manchester
Washington Green, Halcyon Gallery, London
Prince Naseem Hamed, Prince Promotions, Sheffield
Dominic Brunt, Yorkshire TV
Dr Craig, Leeds
Robert Cramer,Toronto, Canada
Peter Massarella, Sydney, Australia
International League for Protection of Horses
Iestyn Harris, Welsh Rugby Union
Mr Bromley, Provence, France
Classic Management, London
Various private collections

Artist Favorites