A COVENTRY artist who has painted royalty, sports stars, politicians and more is looking to conquer overseas markets he sees as a blank canvas.
Darren Baker, who lives and works from in Barnacle, near Coventry, is looking to create and sell work to clients in the Middle East, an area he believes is ‘untapped’ by talented British artists.
Darren’s career credits include being official portrait artist to Her Majesty The Queen in 2011 for the Royal British Legion’s 90th anniversary, official artist to the 2012 Olympic Games and the official Professional Footballers Association artist for more than ten years.
He also helped re-design the iconic Coca Cola Santa in 2017 for the soft drinks company’s annual advertising campaign, one of the biggest and most popular in the world.
Now, he is in the process of setting up Art London Dubai, which will act as a selling platform to bidders from the Middle East with assistance from the international trade team at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.
Darren said: “I think there is a big untapped market for artists to sell their high-quality work to buyers in the Middle East.
“I have contacts out there already who I will be setting up Art London Dubai alongside and I have worked with the Bahrain Royal Family in the past.
“There are a lot of art lovers native to the Middle East and a lot of ex pats who have the same interest.”
Darren will also be looking to bring in new artists to work under the Art London Dubai name as the business expands, potentially giving aspiring artists the opportunity of a lifetime.
Coming from a working class background in Huddersfield before going on to study art at Bradford, he moved to Coventry five years ago with his wife Abigail.
With the City now looking forward to its reign as UK City of Culture in 2021, Darren believes he is in the right place for the next phase of his career.
He said: “The help I have received from the Chamber of Commerce has been crucial and I am looking forward to getting things up and running.
“It took me a long time to establish myself as an artist and get my name out there but I am very excited to be where I am now.
“With UK City of Culture coming here in 2021, Coventry is the place to be as an artist.”