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Darren Baker was born in 1976. He attended Bradford Art College graduating in the summer of 1998. After graduation Darren exhibited in London and at the age of 23 was invited to exhibit his paintings at a UK millennium show in New York. In the same year Baker was appointed official artist of The Professional Footballer's Association (PFA).
Darren went onto produce an impressive art portfolio of contemporary portraits for sports clubs and personalities alike. Having developed a relationship with Huddersfield Town FC, Baker's creativity was stirred into painting a tribute image of ex-player Frank Worthington. Inspired by black and white photographs, Baker produced a portrait painting of one football's great characters. Baker has subsequently worked alongside and produced contemporary paintings for other sporting personalities including: Lewis Hamilton, David Ginola, Peter Schmiechel, Henrik Larsson, Prince Naseem, Nigel Mansell, Jonny Wilkinson and PFA Footballer of the Year portraits of John Terry, Steven Gerrard, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Teddy Sheringham. Sporting clubs who have promoted his art include: Manchester United, Leeds United, Glasgow Celtic, Bradford City, Yorkshire Cricket, and Leeds Rhinos.
Other portraits completed by Darren Baker include HRH Prince Charles and Tony Blair which hang in St James Palace and Downing Street respectively. Darren has also completed contemporary paintings on a range of art subjects including: interiors, portraiture, figurative, equestrian, landscape, and ballet.
In 2008 Darren was commissioned to paint a portrait of Her Majesty the Queen to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the British Legion;
"The portrait was unveiled at a commemorative service in Westminster Abbey in Autumn 2011 by Princess Anne which was a great moment. I have to confess that the press coverage made me smile – the general feeling seemed to be slight surprise to have a realistic portrait that actually looked like the Queen. Apparently Her Majesty was satisfied which I have taken as the royal seal of approval!"
Darren’s artwork and notoriety continues to grow, he was appointed as an official artist to the London Olympic Games in 2012, and later that same year completed a commission of Zara Phillips on a hand-held tablet! He has since gone on to complete commissions for Kenny Daglish and Lords Cricket Ground.
Darren Baker is now one of leading painters within the British Art classical realism genre. Baker's technique and vision are the result of observation and inspiration from the Old Masters and contemporary realist painters.
Darren has received numerous art 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 International and British Art collectors and hang in both public and private art collections including those of: House of Lords, Downing Street and St James Palace.