Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ken Danby, Photorealist artist.

Biography of Ken Danby

Born March 6th 1940 - Died September 23rd 2007.

Early Years

Canadian photorealist artist born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. He knew from an early age that he wanted to be an artist and was support in that dream by his parents, Gertrude and Edison Danby.

His brother, Marvin, four years his senior, displayed natural abilities and interest in creating art as a teenager, which he later set aside. Ken credits Marvin's early interest with inspiring his own. Their parents were very supportive when Ken's artistic skills expanded throughout his elementary years at Cody Public School, Ken Danbywhere he became known as "the school artist", and they soon became aware of the serious degree of his interest. When he was ten years old, in Grade Six, he informed them that he wanted to become an artist, and that a guidance teacher had advised him of a school called the Ontario College of Art, where he could study art. Eight years later, in 1958, he enrolled.

Despite certain anxieties for their son's future, Gertrude and Edison resolved to continue their support for Ken's ambitions as he was unwavering in his determination. Even when he quit the college two years later because of the college's emphasis on abstract art, he did so with a belief that it was the right decision for him. He spent the following three years experimenting with his art before settling on photorealism, inspired by the work of Andrew Wyeth, an American photorealist.

His first one man show in 1964 sold out, setting an example that was often repeated. Private, corporate and museum collectors responded enthusiastically to Danby's work and Danby was recognized as one of the world's foremost photorealist painters. Danby's work has been the subject of several books ranging from reference publications to biographies.

When asked to identify his favourite work, his answer was consistently "my next one."

Danby's photorealism drew the attention of collectors and sustained commercial success throughout his career. Living and working on a sprawling 20-hectare retreat just outside Guelph, a place he called his "sanctuary," Danby cared less about the sale of the work than the process of painting.

His rural property included a grand 1856 stone mill beside the river, overlooked by the original miller's stone house, a horse stable, and a renovated barn building, which served as an office for his publishing company. Together with his wife and favourite model, Gillian, he enjoyed the privacy of his scenic and historic surroundings which have often been reflected in his paintings.

"The fulfilment of that painting is in its completion, not about where it goes. I don't worry about them selling, I don't worry about them finding a home," Danby said.

Extract from: ArtHistory Archived site: Please Click here to see the article onsite.

1 comment:

  1. He did it up right, didn't he...had a plan, had the right attitude, had a beautiful place...a life well-lived.


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