Daniel Colby is an award-winning painter and graduate of NSCAD University.
He has exhibited in solo and group shows in Halifax, Los Angeles, Montreal, Toronto and throughout Ontario, Canada.
Colby has paintings in private collections in the UK, Canada and the US, as well as being purchased by corporate collections such as the Colart Collection.
Colby is a member of the Portrait Society of Canada and specializes in striking commissioned portraits of all subjects and ages.
Daniel Colby est un peintre lauréat diplômé de l'Université NSCAD.
Il a exposé en solo et en groupe à Halifax, Los Angeles, Montreal, Toronto et partout en Ontario, Canada.
Colby a ses oeuvres dans des collections privées au Royaume-Uni, le Canada et les États-Unis, ainsi que d'être acheté par des collections d'entreprise telles que la Collection Colart.
Colby est un membre de la Société du portrait du Canada et se spécialise dans la création de portraits de commande captivantes des sujets de tous âges.
Daniel Colby - Artist Statement:
My paintings focus on transition, and explore issues of gender, age, identity and human relationships.
As long as I can remember, I've been compelled to draw or paint the figure. I find the human form and face to be the most beautiful subject in art. While the human experience can be expressed in non-representational ways, I am compelled to explore and express it primarily through the figure. It's also the way I feel most able – or comfortable – in representing the experience of life and my appreciation of beauty.
I find beauty in the elements of awkwardness and vulnerability. This is why people are my favourite subject; there is no more distinguishable (or precarious) combination of beauty and awkwardness than in human beings (in both appearance and behaviour). This dichotomy is most striking in young adults, and the reason they are a frequent subject of my work. I am drawn to the subject of youth as a time of discovery and formation and for it's dichotomy of confidence and vulnerability.
I am particularly interested in transition. Both the narrative (emotional and experiential qualities) as well of the obvious physical transformation – particularly from child to adult. Some of my paintings are more straight-forward portraits documenting a moment in time of a particular individual. These works depict boys transitioning into men, caught between childhood and the cusp of adulthood. This reflects my innate appreciation of male beauty, my experience as a male and my feeling that the dichotomies of beauty and awkwardness, confidence and vulnerability are most dramatic and potent in young men. The transitioning face of a boy to a man has a unique and fleeting beauty when you can see traces of both the boy he was and the man he is to become. The experience (and appearance) is a jagged mix of grace and awkwardness.
I'm interested in the transient quality of youth and its dichotomy of simplicity and complexity – both physical and psychological – and as a time of growing awareness and discovery. These qualities and this experience inform / inspire my paintings. The narrative possibilities of young manhood inspire my multi-figure compositions which I call painted fictions. They draw inspiration from real experience or emotion – although not necessarily my own – but do not represent existing people. These works share the same inspiration as my portraits – faces / people in transition – but focus more on human relationships, specifically those between young men. I'm interested in the possibilities of these relationships (platonic, fraternal, romantic) as well as the precarious dance of communication and negotiation. My characters are caught in the moments prior to or immediately following some intimate event. The element of awkwardness to the frozen moments and my painting of the figures draws attention to the potency of the interaction / relationship and to the intricacies of communication (as well as, again, reflecting the combination of grace and awkwardness).
In other works I depict the play of light and shadow on long-standing structures, usually old homes. While strikingly different from my figurative work, they are connected through shared themes of the passing of time, loss, and transition. My streetscapes capture the fleeting moments of morning or late afternoon sun as it passes over aging structures, casting long shadows and ornate patterns of dappled light. Some document buildings that have since been demolished, holding their memory.