Picture this the end of a private view of a group show including the works of Guy Denning. A woman walks in to the gallery carrying too many Tesco's shopping bags. âHow can I buy the piece in the window?' she asks. Walking past the gallery she had seen the large Denning drawing from across the road and was drawn to cross over. Ten minutes later, she was in the gallery saying âI love it and have to have it'. It later transpired that she had never heard of Denning, had never bought an artwork before and was still more than happy to hand over more than a grand to own the piece.
This is the magic of Guy Denning. His work seems to exert a powerful hold on a wide range of viewers. The secret of his success lies in the impressive iconic faces that he paints. These images are not so much about personality but more about an implacable nature. Many of the faces appear to have survived some catastrophic or traumatic event and seem stronger for it. They are ageless and timeless. Despite their darkness in both colouring and surface affect, there is a very positive energy about them that holds the attention and makes you want to linger.
Guy was born in the West of England and has spent much of his career in and around Bristol. He has been exhibiting successfully for many years, but over the past three years, his work has become very widely known and much appreciated. His works are now much in demand internationally. A major breakthrough for Denning was at the Bonhams urban auction in 2008. Three pieces performed very well with one work fetching four times the guide price. Since this breakthrough, his reputation and sales have gone from strength to strength. This will be his first solo show at Signal Gallery.
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