Emerging Artist | Darren Thompson

Subway Reading by Darren Thompson

By Julie Osterman

A successful illustrator for more than a decade, Darren Thompson made the switch to painting several years ago and is developing a niche for himself in the figurative genre. A chance encounter with master painter C.W. Mundy was all the inspiration Thompson needed: “I rented space next to [Mundy], and he would come in and look at my paintings,” says the Indiana-based artist. “If I hadn’t run into him, I don’t know if I would have gone down this path.” The majority of Thompson’s work deals with the figure in motion—laborers in coal mines, passengers on the subway, holiday shoppers, and more. His twist on the subject is that he portrays the figure as static and the background in motion, as in subway reading.

“Drawing is a big part of what I do,” the artist says. “I work out a small color sketch and then work on a large painting.” Focusing on the figure was a natural choice due to his background in illustration and sketching talent. Many artists struggle with drawing the figure, he asserts, yet it is a subject that constantly changes. “With a landscape, there are only so many ways you can depict it,” he adds. “Whereas with the figure, there are endless options.” A one-man show of Thompson’s work goes up next month at Bella Vista Gallery in Chicago, IL. He is also represented by Taos Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ; Galerie Kornye West, Fort Worth, TX; and www.dtfineart.com.

Featured in “Artists to Watch” August 2005