A Touch of the Contemporary: Interview with Tim Fowler

A Touch of the Contemporary: Interview with Tim Fowler

Leicester-based artist Tim Fowler is recognised for his strong use of colour and contemporary interpretations of famous faces and architectural landmarks.  His distinctive “urban expressionist” style combines bold brushstrokes with a vivid and energetic palette, rendered in both fine and street art mediums.

Fowler is set to debut his newest series of portraits in a solo show ‘In Good Company’ (Darren Baker Gallery, 12–19 May 2017), which will feature icons of the silver screen imbued with a touch of the contemporary, ‘Tim Fowler’ style. 

We sat down to catch up with the emerging artist about his latest body of work, and his aspirations for what we’re sure will be a bright future.  

What inspired you to move away from architectural subjects to portraiture?

My approach to architectural painting is very measured and revolves a lot around perspective and angles. I wanted to work looser and to try something completely different so I moved into portraiture, which opened up a whole new direction of development for me. 

That’s not to say I've given up on architectural subjects - I'm just taking a break!

What qualities do you look for when choosing a subject for a new portrait?

The majority of my subjects in this new series are silver screen actors and actresses. I really like the taking an old black and white image and using my colour schemes and contemporary approach to create contrast between the subject and final painting. 

They might be famous faces and superstars of their era, but to me they are just interesting faces. I am drawn to the powerful look in their eyes, the way they carry themselves, and the old-fashioned clothing and hairstyles. 

What inspires you to use such vivid and somewhat surreal colours? 

My colour palette is very recognisable and is one of the most important aspects of my practice. I am often asked what inspires it, but as yet I don’t have a concrete answer.  

For as long as I can remember I have been drawn to bright vivid colours, whether in clothing, toys or animals. I was especially obsessed with snakes and their intricate colours and patterns. Now I get colour inspiration from everywhere: be it fashion, interior design, advertising, cartoons, or nature. 

Do you plan the palette of each painting beforehand, or does it evolve during the creation process?

For me, it can take seeing one potential colour in a new subject to develop a whole palette for a painting. Each colour leads to another, and then it becomes a case of careful juxtaposition and balance within the painting. 

When I mix my acrylics I keep them in jars to prevent them from drying out. This means that as I work on a number of paintings concurrently, you can spot the same colours appearing throughout a series of works. In some cases, the subject of the painting will lead the direction of the palette also. 

What is your favourite work of art you've made to date and why?

My favourite has to be my painting of The Krays. I love the colour scheme I used: different pink tones for Reggie and greens for Ron. I think the violent nature of their reputation combined with these colours against the flat background worked out really well. 

It’s not often I paint two figures in one piece as well, so the composition was quite different from my usual portraits. 

If you could own one work of art by another artist, what would it be?

If I could own one painting by another artist it would be Picasso's ‘Weeping Woman’ [inset]. It was the first painting I really fell in love with - I had a poster of it on my bedroom wall as a teenager. I was fascinated by the use of colour and it's crude almost childlike execution. 

What are your ambitions for the future? 

In the future I want to get to a point where I'm curating my own photo-shoots to source material for paintings; hiring models, setting up scenes and using props...

At the moment I mainly paint headshots, but I want to start experimenting with more narrative in a piece. I have also started to use oils in my work and want to explore them more. 

I have a lot of ideas and different directions I want to take my work in, but I don't want to rush into anything. There are still a lot of areas left to explore and develop in my current practice, and I also plan to revise architecture soon. ■

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Reflecting Back on Gower's 'Reflections'

Reflecting Back on Gower's 'Reflections'

Darren Baker Gallery is delighted to announce Richard Gower as April's artist of the month.

Following Gower's sell out debut at the group exhibition 'Spectrum of Colour' in 2015, his work has proven to be a continued success with his paintings now found in collections around the world.

His initial 'reflections' were serene depictions rendered with a muted palette, of figures walking through a park, as seen in 'The Lunch Hour'.

These then evolved into his much busier café society and cityscapes. With the crowds came a deeper sense of perspective and a broader palette depicting fleeting moments in time. This collection was unveiled at his solo show 'First Impressions' in March 2016 again a sell out success!

A year on Gower's 'reflections' have evolved further towards a more minimalist striking palette. These paintings, for example 'Red Bag in Piccadilly' use a bolder palette and new confidence exploring negative space on a larger scale, creating his most abstracted and refined body of work yet. 

Throughout the past eighteen months Gower has proved his ability to explore a range of subject matters and scales whilst retaining and developing his signature contemporary impressionist style.

We are delighted to have Gower work alongside DBG do pass by and view the collection.

 

Five Tips for Buying Art

With the arrival of spring, many of us are looking towards brighter days ahead! This mentality extends to the home, where we strive to declutter our living and working spaces or aim to include some fresh home accessories. Why not consider introducing some contemporary artwork into the fold? Here are our suggestions for buying art for your home:

1. Keep an open mind...

You might be looking to buy with a specific space in mind but it is important to keep an open mind to the rest of your home when looking at art. You could come across an artwork that suits an entirely different space, which then encourages even more decorating possibilities.

2. Trust your instincts...

Everyday we make decisions from buying a house or buying an outfit to deciding what kind of coffee to drink. Buying an artwork is a more permanent, personal experience but the end result can be far more rewarding. Remember to buy what you like and what you want to see in your home by trusting your instincts.  

3.  Talk to the consultants...

Most galleries have on-site consultants who will happily provide advice on buying and can provide more information on the artists. They are there to help and make your buying experience as smooth and seamless as possible. 

4. Mind the budget...

It is possible to brighten up your home or office in a way that doesn't break the bank. You might consider investing in an artwork by an emerging artist as opposed to an established artist. Don't forget, every artist started somewhere! Alternatively, you could purchase limited edition prints over an original piece. If you do have your eyes on a piece that falls a little outside the budget, don't be afraid to ask the gallery assistants what payment options are available.

5. Enjoy the experience... 

Most importantly, the experience of looking and buying art should be enjoyable! A gallery is not that different from a fine art museum. It offers many ways to engage with other people and the artwork itself so you can make the best choice for you. If you don't like the feel of a painting, exhibition, or gallery space don't be intimidated and move on.

Finding the right artwork that's right for you is a delicate process but not impossible. Once you buy your first piece, you'll be caught by the 'picture buying bug' and looking forward to the next addition!

Artist of the Month - February 2017: MILLENA DE MILLE

"I dream up whole walls of rushes, lakes and clouds. Quietly there, but impossible to ignore." - Millena DeMille

 

DBG is dedicated to the promotion and support of exciting emerging talent on the contemporary art scene. As a new project for the new year we will be shining a light on one artist every month throughout 2017, comprising an extended display of works across one side of the gallery's upper ground floor and online features. 

This February 2017 we are focusing on the inimitable, ethereal work of fine artist and furniture designer Millena DeMille

Millena's shimmering landscapes and semi-abstract natural forms in bursts of gold, silver and copper are a pleasure to behold. Her works incorporate an unusual medley of metal foils, special coloured waxes, acrylic paint, and enamels. The resulting works are subtly coloured, interactive, ever-changing artworks, which when viewed at various angles or in different lights exude an almost "living, breathing" presence. 

With a background of over two decades in freelance interior design, Millena's innovative gilding techniques were developed over a number of years creating bespoke room and furniture designs for private and corporate clients across London, Warsaw, Barcelona and New York. 

The subjects and compositions are mostly inspired by nature - "nature, after all, is the best designer" she quotes - or simply a feeling that needs to be captured. "An idea usually follows me for a few days, nothing concrete, just a feeling. Either serene silver clouds or something full of energy, like in the golden vortexes." 

Millena's works come in all shapes and sizes, perfect for filling entire walls, or even the awkward nooks and crannies of homes. When asked about her preferred scale, she answered: "The bigger the better - I love the scope for movement as my technique is often very physical and works differently on a large scale. The smaller pieces contain more contemplative energy."

Don't let the simplicity and delicacy of the material, finish and framing fool you into thinking it is a simple application of glue and metal leaf - the works comprise multiple layers of media borrowing from both fine art and furniture restoration. They are built up gradually over a number of days - even weeks - including scratching into the surfaces, painting and varnishing to achieve the desired effects. She reveals: "some of the works I then leave unvarnished in order to retain a sense of softness and the different coloured metal leaf layers' natural luminosity, whilst others I enhance with layers of crystal clear varnish - a sort of modern take on gilded and lacquered Chinese furniture."

These sorts of finishes bring to mind elements of opulence and quality, yet delivered in subtle elegance and original designs at affordable prices.

View the full collection of Millena DeMille's work here; prices start from £395.

 

by Alexandra

Exhibition in Focus: SCAPES (Themed Group Show, Autumn 2016)

Exhibition in Focus: SCAPES (Themed Group Show, Autumn 2016)

Following the success of our most recent show, SCAPES, I thought it would be appropriate to talk a little bit about why we felt this theme significant enough to base DBG’s first ever THEMED exhibition surrounding it.

Landscapes have always been a powerful focus for artists throughout history, from Rembrandt, Constable and Turner, to Dali, Matisse and Monet, and the contemporary art world is no different.

One could endeavour to explore why landscapes have called to the artist throughout time, however, what I am more interested in is how these scenes change and are depicted artist to artist.

I believe this theme is a particularly curious one as SCAPES suggests that each artist, whether they conceive classic a landscape, a seascape, a cityscape or even a dreamscape, is constructing their own world, or indeed their own distinct understanding of the world visually in order to give others the joy of experiencing it too. Perhaps the most noticeable aspect is also how incredibly different they all have approached and interpreted this brief. For me, this shows not just the individuality of the artist, but how completely and brilliantly unique our imaginations are as creative beings.

This notion was celebrated through the exhibition, guaranteeing a dramatic variety of different artistic styles and showcasing the diversity and breadth of the gallery’s growing portfolio. SCAPES displayed an array of abstract, hyperrealist, urban, surrealist and impressionistic pieces in a range of media and altering scale, and so subsequently there was ‘something for everyone’, which is a motto DBG aims to continue delivering in the future.

Each artwork was accompanied by a brief, complementary written response to the theme by the artists themselves, which added a further layer of meaning to the pieces and shed a significant ray of light upon the inspiration each artist had used to interpret ‘scapes’ in their own way.

To conclude: contemporary art arguably sets the artist free from constraints, but sometimes it is the introduction of limitations that are necessary for the mind to really flourish. Therefore the introduction of a theme (or brief) to our artists featured in this show enabled them to produce our most collectively engaging and intriguingly contrasting exhibition to date.

By Lydia Riddell

10/11/16

DBG hosts The Prince's Trust art auction to raise funds for charity's 40th anniversary

On Thursday 29th September 2016, Darren Baker Gallery was proud to play host to The Prince's Trust's 40th anniversary celebrations. Founded in 1976 by Charles, Prince of Wales, The Prince's Trust is one of the most successful funding organisations in the UK and the UK's leading youth charity, having helped over 825,000 young people turn their lives around, created 125,000 entrepreneurs and and given business support to 395,000 people in the UK. 

"An Evening of Art" celebrated the charity with both a live and silent auction of artworks generously donated by established and emerging artists, including Darren Baker, Maggi Hambling, Peter Blake, PINS, Richard Gower, and many more, in support of the charity's educational and career training and mentoring programmes. 

Having received vital career support from The Prince's Trust as a young man, celebrated classical hyperrealist artist and Gallery Director Darren Baker created a specially commissioned pencil drawing of Clarence House for the live auction, as well an series of 40 limited edition prints available to purchase on the night. 

Darren Baker's 'Clarence House - Prince of Wales', pencil on paper, 20 x 26 cm - SOLD in the Live Auction

Darren Baker's 'Clarence House - Prince of Wales', pencil on paper, 20 x 26 cm - SOLD in the Live Auction

Starting with introductory speeches by Patron and renowned British actress Samantha Bond, and Young Ambassador Natalie Mitchell, BBC TV antiques expert and DBG artist David Harper then delivered a very animated live auction, featuring a fantastic range of donated artworks from the likes of Godfather of British Pop Art Sir Peter Blake, James Bond star Pierce Brosnan, ubiquitous public sculptor Conrad Shawcross, and Keeper of the Royal Academy of Arts Eileen Cooper, amongst others. 

Prince's Trust Patron Samantha Bond, Young Ambassador Natalie Mitchell, and Gallery Director Darren Baker, who took part in the Trust's Enterprise programme in 2000. 

Prince's Trust Patron Samantha Bond, Young Ambassador Natalie Mitchell, and Gallery Director Darren Baker, who took part in the Trust's Enterprise programme in 2000. 

All donated works by DBG artists - Darren Baker, PINS, David Harper, Richard Gower and Millena DeMille - were successfully auctioned off to raise vital funds for the charity. 

A big thank you to all who took part in making the event a huge success - whether in the organisation, running, donation or support of DBG's first charity art auction! To find out more about The Prince's Trust programmes and activities, visit https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/

 

by Alexandra

 

 

 

DBG Summer Report and Autumn Forecast 2016

With the underground gradually welcoming back tanned Londoners and office coffee breaks being dominated with holiday anecdotes, it seems summer is being shouldered out by autumn in Fitzrovia.

In the spirit of this season change we thought we would reminisce about this summer’s fun-filled activities whilst sharing some exciting news about exhibitions and events scheduled for autumn at DBG!

We celebrated June with our biannual group exhibition showcasing the gallery’s full portfolio of artists’ work; from Darren Baker’s stunningly intricate and detailed pastel still lives to David Harper’s characterful, expressive paintings of vintage cars. All the special goodie bags produced exclusively for “Home Is Where The Art Is” (including vouchers for Mortons members club and DBG mugs) were claimed, as several collectors familiar and new took home fantastic works of art.

In July we raised a glass to “Minna Moo”, Vines BMW’s sponsored cow for the Surrey Hills Cow Parade, painted by Minna George, at the official unveiling of the life-sized bovine sculpture in aid of children’s charity Dreamflight.

August saw the inauguration of the bunting-filled “Summer Bazaar” – a month long fair featuring artwork by gallery and guest artists; including Eduardo Paolozzi, Richard Smith, Peter Blake and Ivor Abrahams. Guests were welcomed with Pimms and bubbles on Thursday 11th August and snapped up many a bargain. We are giving the bazaar a proper send off on Thursday 8th September with a closing party offering drinks and a live artist demonstration by Millena DeMille – join us between 6 to 8 pm for an evening of great deals!

So what’s in store for the season ahead?

Autumn is known to be the busiest time of year for the art world and we’re certainly planning an exciting schedule of events in the lead up to (dare we say it?) Christmas!

DBG is playing to host to an exclusive “Evening of Art” auction in collaboration with the Prince’s Trust as part of their 40th anniversary celebrations in late September. Gallery Director Darren Baker was commissioned to produce a series of limited edition prints depicting Clarence House in aid of HRH the Prince of Wales’ charity, which will be available for sale on the night.

Next up will be a themed exhibition featuring a selection of gallery artists whose work respond to the interpretable theme of “Scapes” – be it landscapes, cityscapes, seascapes or dreamscapes. Delve into a carefully curated display of original artworks and edition prints accompanied by quotes from the artists, and let the works transport you to another ‘–scape’.  

Lastly, we are pleased to announce that our much anticipated final event of the year – the biannual Winter Group Exhibition – is scheduled for the Thursday 1st of December! Kick off the holiday season with a glass of champagne and find the perfect gift for yourself or your loved ones this Christmas.

Stay tuned for more details released soon on our ‘Exhibitions’ page or social media channels…

 

by Alexandra

 

If Andy Warhol was born in Brick Lane: An Interview with D13ego

If Andy Warhol was born in Brick Lane: An Interview with D13ego

DBG are thrilled to present artist D13ego's vibrant, multi-layered work. As an introduction to D13ego's artistic practice, Gallery Assistant Alexandra Olczak decided to delve deeper and reveal the hidden meanings beneath this exciting artist's complex artworks in interview. 

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Can you tell us a bit more about what you mean by your self-defined "Urban Pop" style?

Urban pop is what you’d get if Andy Warhol was born in Brick Lane.

I use street art techniques like spray painting and stencils; I draw inspiration from the metropolis I live in and throw in elements from the Pop culture for good measure.

I guess my work is as far as possible from a traditional landscape oil painting…

I like my art to bring out emotions and to do that I use big and bold colours. If you stand in the middle of Piccadilly Circus or Times Square you expect your senses to be hit from all angles. 

Everyone wants a share of your sensorial attention, conscious or subliminal. I am an urban artist and I compete for that same sensorial attention. It may be ironic though that in order to knock down the wall of your imagination, I end up using a scalpel.

I understand you have a background in the finance industry - to what extent does this inform your practice? What else inspires your subjects and compositions?

Yes that’s true, I studied business in Milan and worked for 15 years in the City.

Finance has undoubtedly influenced my work; I often paint banknotes and financial themes. To some people money is the measure of evil, to others it is the measure of success. Either way, to most, money means something very real. Over the years I met a number of people who made money with their own smarts and hard work and who do like to celebrate their success. They collect my art for their homes, offices and board rooms to make a statement.

My passion for comic books and Asian culture also influences many of my compositions; with geishas, samurais and mangas becoming recurring themes. 

Generally speaking I paint subjects I would happily hang on my own walls. I like to keep it varied, interesting and real.

Do you have a preferred medium?

Spray and comics. Spray paint is a constant in my work. I grew up in 1980s Italy when graffiti started to be cool and I was immediately bewitched by the possibilities. My short stint as a comic book artist also made me appreciate high contrast images, halftones and vibrant colours. You can often see these elements in my work. I prefer canvas to any other surface as it gives me the flexibility to paint on almost any size/shape.

I am also constantly experimenting with new techniques and materials and I found my nemesis in epoxy glue. While I love the final effect of an epoxy coating on vibrant colours, I find this material extremely hard to keep clean. 

I have a beautiful cat, Nikka, who always comes investigating what I am doing in the studio and you may be able to spot the odd hair encased forever in the epoxy coat of some of my works!

I’ll keep en eye out for that… What would you like audiences to take away from your work?

You mean, apart from the artwork itself? I would like them to identify with the style and subject… “so cool, that’s so me”. 

I believe my (loosely defined) generation more than others, kept a foot in the past and one in the future. I like combining retro, hand made, analogical work with elements of modern living, images and technology. 

I think it’s cool that in a world that goes faster and faster someone spends hours hand cutting and spraying a stencil. I like to think my audience appreciate this combination.

Do you have a "motto" that defines your aims/motivations as an artist? 

“Follow your dreams.” I was pushed by my parents to study maths and business when I was 17 , but art was in fact my biggest passion. I went through with it but I promised them I would be a professional artist before I’d turn 40. I never forgot those words and in 2013, just before my big 40th birthday, my promise came through. 

I resigned from my banking career, packed my Bloomberg and started painting. Most people thought I had lost the plot but you are lucky enough to be able to follow your dreams you must. Else be prepared to live a life of regrets.

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D13ego’s work will feature at our upcoming Summer Group Show, Home Is Where the Art Is…’ opening on Thursday 30th June 6-8pm. The artist himself will also be in attendance. 

Join us simply by RSVPing to: info@darrenbakergallery.co.uk 

by Alexandra 

PICTURE THIS: DARREN BAKER'S 'PICCADILLY CIRCUS'

PICTURE THIS: DARREN BAKER'S 'PICCADILLY CIRCUS'

London. Day one. 2 AM. 
The lights of Piccadilly, shining. Like I always used to dream of. 
The buzz of the city, now so quiet. But still, so full of energy. So full of life. 
London, the city of possibilities. 
Euphoria, mixed with fear. 

And me, in the middle of it. 
Being amazed by it. 
Being part of it.

If you can make it in London, you can make it everywhere. 
Because only a city like London will challenge you, will lead you to where you really want to be. 

Wandering through the heart of these lights, I realise. 
I made it. 
I am here. 

London. Day one. 
Welcome home. 


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Inspired by Darren Baker's 'Piccadilly Circus', pencil on paper, 20 x 25 cm
View at Darren Baker Gallery on Thursday 12th May, preview to 'Darren Baker: The Collection 2016'. RSVP: info@darrenbakergallery.co.uk 

Picture This: Darren Baker's 'Swan Lake'

Picture This: Darren Baker's 'Swan Lake'

A spotlight appears and casts a circle of bright light on centre stage, illuminating a slender female figure. Ornate in her bejewelled tutu; her diamond tiara catching the light and sprawling out a flurry of sparkles across the stage. The ballerina exudes beauty and grace as she slowly begins her ritual paces. 

A stillness settles amidst the audience in the theatre, hundreds of pairs of eyes following the ballerina's fluid movements, pointed toes slicing through the atmosphere thick with suspense. Somewhere below an orchestra crescendos, the ballerina pirouettes faster and faster, until finally she stops. 

Standing tall, regal, en-pointe; she extends a swan-like arm and points up and into the enshrouding darkness. 

The spotlight disappears in a blink. A moment's silence. An applause erupts. 

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Inspired by Darren Baker's 'Swan Lake', pastel on paper, 25 x 20 cm

See it at Darren Baker Gallery on Thursday 12th May, at the preview to 'Darren Baker: The Collection 2016'. RSVP: info@darrenbakergallery.co.uk 

 

Surrey Hills Cow Parade - Week 3: Process and Progress, Interview with Minna George

Surrey Hills Cow Parade - Week 3: Process and Progress, Interview with Minna George

Darren Baker Gallery’s resident artist Minna George may be well versed in the art of abstract and expressive painting, but painting a life-sized cow sculpture is a very different undertaking.

Now that she is approaching the final herd-le (pun intended) in the cow’s artistic makeover, DBG Gallery Assistant Alexandra Olczak sat down with Minna (sponsored by Vines BMW, in aid of Dreamflight) to discuss the trials and tribulations of this creative challenge.

AO: Firstly, congratulations for being chosen as the representative artist for Vines BMW's cow for the Surrey Hills Cow Parade 2016! What were your initial thoughts when you found out about the task ahead?  

MG: I have to admit, this kind of project is very new to me – it’s not something I have ever done before. I accepted it because, as a painter, I knew it was going to present a challenge which would push my vision towards a more monumental way of looking at sculpture, involving manipulating three-dimensional objects with my style of painting.

I’ve done sculpture and mural painting before, but never painting on sculpture, so I felt like within this subject matter I had to employ my knowledge of sculpture, monumental painting and painting in general to guide me.

AO: Can you elaborate on what you mean by “monumental” painting?

MG: “Monumental painting” refers to outdoor fresco painting, so large wall works that make sense from far away, but may appear confusing from close up. They’re to be seen as a whole from a distance.

I think the cape is a good example of this, because from far away it’s recognisable as a Union Jack flag draped across the cow’s back, but from up close it may seem somewhat distorted – like an abstracted pattern.

As a painter, you often focus on the details, but when you’re painting on a large piece and then stepping back, it may not make sense so it’s tricky getting a good balance with these two perspectives in mind. 

AO: How did you go about planning the design for this yet-to-be-named moo?

MG: Due to the nature of this project, planning for this project has been important from the very start - which is unusual for me when I am working on my abstract paintings. I had to order all my materials in advance, as well as bear in mind that my time as a resident at Darren Baker Gallery is limited!

AO: The cow itself is very unusual blank canvas; how have you found the practical process so far? Any particularly tricky bits?

MG: Well, the surface of the cow is very slippery, so I have had to change brushes a couple of times to something really soft; it’s a bit tricky to apply paint in certain ways that I would on the cotton canvases I use for my paintings. I’ve had to think about flattened shapes and work with a poster-like approach when applying the paint to get the intended effect.         

It’s taken me quite some time to translate my painting style onto the cow, but it’s something I’ve been slowly becoming accustomed to and I feel I am achieving now.

AO: I noticed some elements of gold too!

MG: Yes, I’ve gilded certain parts of the cow – the face and the udder - with gold leaf. 

I was inspired by the incredible work done by children’s charity Dreamflight [which the cow is in aid of] to give the cow a gold mask, as I thought it would provide an element of excitement for the children from Dreamflight. It makes the cow look like a superhero - their superhero! The cape element is also a direct reference to Dreamflight flying children with serious illnesses or disabilities to Florida.

I think the gold adds an element of humour (on the udder), as well as an element of luxury (on the face). It’s also like another way of removing the cow from the field and into the city!

AO: How have you found working at Darren Baker Gallery? It must be quite different to working in your usual studio space?

It’s been brilliant; especially thanks to the encounters of all the visitors who have come to check in, which have been really insightful. It’s a great space – open, bright, and inspiring!

AO: So, our concrete floor hasn’t hurt your back too much?

MG: Surprisingly, no! I think the most hilarious moment of this process was when I was laying on the floor and gilding udders the size of watermelons…

AO: You must be excited about the great unveiling of the moo at the gallery on the 2nd June, once it’s all varnished and ready to take part in the Surrey Hills Cow Parade?

MG: Yes! This whole project has motivated me to make a new series of works specifically related specifically to the cow. I’ve been sketching on the cow from new paintings I created, so in turn I’ve decided to also make a new series of works taken from sections of the cow. I’m doing it not only to commemorate this whole journey, but also for my own interest in working with such a new and unusual medium. All paintings from this series will be originals and exclusive to Darren Baker Gallery; it’ll give people the chance to take a piece of the cow home with them.

AO: Thank you for taking the time to give us an insight into your journey so far, and we look forward to the cow’s unveiling on the 2nd June, where it’ll also be named.

MG: Likewise!

 

For more information on how you can enter the caption competition to name the cow, see: http://darrenbakergallery.com/blog-content/2016/4/4/surrey-hills-cow-parade-week-2-the-naming-of-the-cow-1

 

by Alexandra

 

One more reason to celebrate: DBG does Wedding List Service!

One more reason to celebrate: DBG does Wedding List Service!

The question of all questions has been popped and your answer is yes? 
Congratulations! 

Now begins the exciting - if not slightly daunting -  task of organising for your big day. Our aim at DBG is to help release you of that pressure relating to your wedding list.

Traditionally, wedding registries focused on providing the newly weds with what they would find useful in their new home. Nowadays, however, a lot of couple co-habit before taking this big step in their relationship, meaning not everyone is in need of the usual teapot-and-toaster list to fill their nest!

We at DBG want to offer you a service that makes things easier for friends and family who would like to mark the wedding with a true emotional and timeless gift. 

ABOUT OUR SERVICE

The DBG Wedding List Account will be tailored to you both.  Our aim is to make holding your gift list a simple process; from introducing the artists on the gallery portfolio, to taking contributions on your behalf, keeping you updated on the fund total, and ultimately assisting you in choosing the perfect work of fine art to celebrate your special day. 

Presently, we offer the following three formats:

- You may select an artwork/ artworks and all contributions are placed against the works..

- You may  open an Art Fund with no specific allocation of artwork, the selection of which can be made at a later date to suit around your schedule.

- You may choose to commission an artwork from one of our participating artists. It may be that you would like a portrait of you both created by Darren Baker, or a scene depicting a special location by Richard Gower. 

Furthermore, we will design cards that you can enclose in your wedding invitation, keeping a record of all contributing guests with the option to include a  special message. Finally, we will also send thank you cards personalised to your wedding.

Following the wedding, we will arrange a private viewing for you at the gallery, at a time that best suits you, to finalise your choice of artwork - alongside a glass of bubbles of course!

Finally, the gallery also offers free home delivery of your chosen work!

So, if you have any questions, we would be pleased to sit down with you and provide more information, either in the gallery or at a location of your choice.

A piece of art is not only an investment, but a reminder of one of the happiest  days in your lives; it is something that you can both cherish for years to come.

So why wait? Book an appointment today or pop by the gallery to get started with your wedding list!

For more information, please contact: info@darrenbakergallery.co.uk

 

by Alexandra & Vanessa

SURREY HILLS COW PARADE: WEEK 2 - THE NAMING OF THE COW

SURREY HILLS COW PARADE: WEEK 2 - THE NAMING OF THE COW

We hope you’re in the mooo-d for a progress report on Minna George’s udderly fantastic transformation of our bovine friend, taking place live here at Darren Baker Gallery. (No more cow puns now, promise!)

Surrounded by various sheets, palettes, brushes, and paints, our yet-to-be-named cow is slowly gaining character, thanks to Minna’s masterful artistic handling of expressive brushstrokes and colour. 

But before the cow can be unveiled in its finalised form, it needs a name! 

We are very excited to announce that we will be holding a caption competition to name Minna’s moo (no stealing!) As well as having the honour of christening the cow with your witty and inventive title, you will be in with a chance of winning a very special prize: Vines BMW are very generously donating 2x M4 Master Ignition Vouchers! Two lucky people will be invited to an adrenalin-fuelled day of racing the BMW M4 around the track at Brands Hatch alongside a qualified racing driver. 

So what are you waiting for? Getting brainstorming and email in or Tweet us your suggestions with the hashtag #DBGCowCompetition 

Here are some in-progress snapshots for inspiration...

Head on over to our social media channels for some more sneak peek snapshots of the cow or pop by the gallery!

Twitter: @DBakerGallery

Instagram: @darrenbakergallery

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/darrenbakergallery/

In our next blog post, Minna George will be giving us an insight into her artistic process, and what types of trial and tribulations working on such an extraordinary “canvas” presents, so stay tuned!

 

by Alexandra

04/04/16

Surrey Hills Cow Parade: Week 1 - The Commencing of the Cow

Surrey Hills Cow Parade: Week 1 - The Commencing of the Cow

You may have heard rumours of a rather special and unusual guest in the gallery through the digital grapevine lately...

Allow me to take this opportunity to officially announce that resident artist, Minna George, will be repurposing Darren Baker Gallery’s lower ground floor into an off-site studio space until 22nd April 2016, to decorate a life-sized cow sculpture!

The finished sculpture will participate in the Surrey Hills Cow Parade, which is set to take place across several locations around the county of Surrey between May and September 2016. This public art exhibition of the cows will be easily trackable through a specially created app, soon to be launched.

Vines BMW Guildford have generously sponsored the cow, in aid of children’s charity Dreamflight; a UK charity that takes children with a serious illness or disability, without their parents, on the holiday of a lifetime to Orlando, Florida.

The excitement was truly palpable in the gallery last Monday 14th March, when a shiny black BMW X5 pulled up outside the gallery, towing… a cattle trailer! (That’s not a frequent sight in Fitzrovia, I can tell you.)

All hands were on deck escorting our bovine friend – yet to be named – out of the trailer, and into the gallery’s lower ground floor, where she will be residing/grazing for the next month whilst Minna works her magic.

Minna George has been living and practicing as an artist in London for 15 years, and is famed for her vivacious, expressionist paintings on canvas. Often choosing to mix her own paints from pigments and experimenting in mixed media, Minna’s multi-layered, abstract approach to artistic expression is always bursting with vibrant colour and life.

As you can imagine, this is a somewhat different type of canvas to work on; one full of curves, horns, hooves (and udders!).  Without giving away too much about the planned design – you’ll have to await our next posts for more juicy details – one thing can be said for sure; Minna will breathe life into this moo in a very unique way.

Furthermore, the whole process of creative transformation will be captured in a time-lapse video, which will be released upon the sculpture’s completion.

Our doors are always open to visitors, so do pop by the gallery and check in on the cow’s progress!

 

by Alexandra

23/03/16

Darren Baker Is For The Running

Darren Baker Is For The Running

Good news for the horse-enthusiasts of you out there...

In time for Cheltenham Festival, on from 15th to 18th March, Darren has sent us his newest works direct from his studio. 

Cheltenham Festival is the highlight of the jump season, bringing about 250,000 people to the racecourse during the 4 days it is on and with a prize money of no less then £4.1 million. Darren, as a leading award-winning equestrian artist, has always been blown away by the grace and beauty of the horses and their size, that "... I felt the urge to get painting [them]". 

Admittedly, equine art fits greatly in the naturalistic, almost photographic paintings of the hyperrealist - which is what makes Darren's horse studies one of his specialities.  His equestrian works were widely viewed and led to a number of commissions, including one to paint the Royal Arabian Studs of Bahrain. This unique collection of pure-bred Arabian horses had been preserved on the island for over 200 years by the rulers of Bahrain, and painting these magnificent animals was a huge privilege.

So, we hope you will enjoy his new artworks, and if you are visiting Cheltenham this week, you equestrian fans out there,  then good luck at the races!

 

by Vanessa

15/03/16

 

Adding Some Zing to Spring!

Adding Some Zing to Spring!

Ok, so admittedly perhaps early February doesn’t officially qualify as spring, but the daffodils are out and that definitely counts for something.

We’ve got some refreshing news for you this week: another addition to our fantastic portfolio of artists exhibiting their work here at DBG!

Fabian Freese is a German artist who, since graduating from the Freie Akademie der bildenden Künste in Essen in 2011, has exhibited his work internationally.

Having been introduced to Graffiti art as a teenager, his artistic practice has gradually evolved from a childhood spent outdoors amongst nature together with a fascination with spray paint as a fine art medium. By combining these two inspirations, Fabian has developed a distinctive artistic style which yoyos between partial to pure abstraction.

His ‘Minimal’ collection is represented here at the gallery by three of his smaller yet stunningly vibrant and energetic works ‘Faded Dark Blue and White on Pink’, ‘’Faded Yellow and Pink on Green’, and ‘’Pink on White and Yellow on Greenblue’ (all spray paint on canvas). The sheer clarity and precision of his characteristic vertical lines betray Freese’s perfectionism and impressive mastery of a deceptively tricky medium.

At the other end of the scale spectrum, Fabian’s partially abstracted triptych, ‘Playground Solingen I’, stretching across nearly three meters in length, has a very palpable presence in the gallery. It is part of his ‘Playground Series’ – Fabian states:

“[it] is about faded childhood memories. These are playgrounds from different places, faded and blurred, like memories from distant childhood. These playgrounds are the symbol of childhood itself. Most people have good feelings when they think about play. The bold colour fields at the side of the canvases represent the now. They are abstract, allowing the viewer to insert their impressions of living today in the painting. Their vertical stripes form bridges between different times. They represent the thoughts about the future and the colours of life today. They relate to how past shapes us, here and now.”

If you’re craving some colour to beckon in the spring, we highly recommend coming in for some colour therapy courtesy of Fabian Freese here at DBG!

 

by Alexandra

15/02/16

Vince on View

Vince on View

A few weeks ago I was strolling down Fitzrovia’s Tottenham Street when something caught my attention. As expected, London’s January skies displayed their regular monotonous grey, yet today this was punctuated with splashes of fresh colour overlapped with crisp, fluid shapes and forms. I was drawn across the street, and on closer inspection I was greeted with a series of beautiful, pristine natural forms on coloured canvases. 

I was certainly taken with the paintings’ stunning simplicity. Somehow, in spite of their minimalism, each work seemed to exude an independent sense of character.

Canadian born Vincent McIndoe made a name for himself in the art world as an internationally renowned illustrator - you may have seen some of his ubiquitous illustrations at such venues as the Four Seasons, Intercontinental Hotels, BMW and Starbucks.

Vince currently lives in South Korea; which considering his skilful combination of minimalist imagery of natural forms with surreal colouring and delicate detailing may not come as such a surprise. 

Yet there is more to this series of floral-themed works than mere pleasing aesthetics. The artist subtly communicates his personal experiences and feelings about love, loss, friendship, and wider political and religious conflicts. ‘Misguided Patriot’ (oil on canvas), for example, portrays a camouflage-patterned rose. It is at once both elegant and sensual, and alluding to a distinctive pattern with harsher associations, adding a layer of complexity for the viewer to interpret.

We are hugely excited about having Vince’s work on view at DBG and welcome you to come and experience these incredibly delicate yet vivacious paintings for yourself! 

 

by Alexandra 

01/02/16

Planet Earth is Blue...

Planet Earth is Blue...

...and there's nothing Rys can do.

This couldn't be further from the truth - we have only seen the tip of the iceberg of what this young and talented painter has to offer.  

DBG is excited to welcome our new artist Pamela Lukrecja Rys!

Lukrecja Rys is a London-based artist, originally from Poland where she studied Fashion Design. During her studies her primary tools for expression were confined to digital editing software. This would not satisfy, as Rys demanded more than her computer could provide and opted for traditional materials. From the moment her artistic prowess was unleashed within the analog realm there has been no turning back.

Pamela works in a variety of media and with vibrant colours which evince her underlying creative momentum, fueled by her strong emotions and experiences. Applying painterly brushstrokes and multiple layers, her pieces evoke images of abstracted maelstroms, ephemeral nebulae and planet surfaces from galaxies yet to be discovered, and I wonder...

Is there life on Mars?

 

by Benjamin 

19-01-16

Gower Goes Solo

Gower Goes Solo

Following Richard Gower’s explosive debut display at Darren Baker Gallery’s recent winter group show – ‘Spectrum of Colour’, 3rd to the 24th December 2015 – the buzz around his work has only been rising.

After coming close to selling out of his ‘Reflections’ series of oil paintings on canvas, Gower went on to produce a series of smaller, figurative, semi-abstracted compositions. Painted in this distinctive, characteristic style, these new works depict anonymous figures with dogs strolling into the distance, playing in rock pools, and immersed in hazy city scenes.

Observation and chance is key to Gower’s practice. His self-confessed “voyeuristic approach” to scouting out creative inspiration – sitting in cafes and parks and “people-watching” – allows him to capture the fleeting moments of strangers’ daily activities. The compositions, sometimes cropped at unexpected angles, have at once both a real sense of serenity and intrigue. They quietly invite the viewer to create narratives about the anonymous characters unknowingly immortalised in oil paint.

Richard is now working on a whole new series of more works depicting urban scenes bustling with expressive brushstrokes and character in preparation for….*drumroll*…his solo exhibition at Darren Baker Gallery scheduled for 17th March 2016!

Gower has also recently confirmed a family portrait commission for his biggest collector based in London. Congratulations Richard - we look forward eagerly to seeing your new work!

 

by Alexandra

15/01/16

New Year, New Works

New Year, New Works

What better way to kick off the New Year than with a delivery of a freshly painted series of works by one of our regulars; BBC TV presenter, art and antiques expert and artist David Harper?

David’s new canvases (and pink trousers!) filled the gallery with some much-needed bursts of vivid colour to counteract the grey January skies presiding over Charlotte Street. Within a matter of minutes, a parade of black, fragmented figures on brightly coloured backgrounds lined itself up against the walls, ready for hanging.

David’s latest series reveals stylistic progress in his typically rich use of paint and bold, expressive brush marks, resulting in a very distinctive and exciting new body of work.

Having experienced a burst of creative production over the recent winter holiday season, David’s love of interacting with and observing people at antiques fairs, and his passion for flamboyant colour stemming from his childhood years in Zimbabwe have acted as strong influences in the production of this immensely dynamic series.

The energy emitted by these partly figurative, abstracted compositions is truly palpable – we invite you to come and experience them for yourself at the gallery!

 

by Alexandra

07/01/16