Danby fallout -- some hate, no death threats (yet), and a diamond in the rough
Pretty busy these days with big 'O' obligations -- the AGO, the first of many being Playing With Pictures, which was a pleasure, the National Gallery's Pop Life, and Luminato -- but as I mentioned, I felt like I couldn't let the show of Ken Danby's work pass unmentioned.
Aside from the predictable hate mail (this is a divide never to be bridged, alas), I had a great exchange with an artists named John Mahnic; John's a painter not terribly unlike Danby in the sense that he's a (semi) devoted realist, but at the same time, acknowledges the hard road such work has to travel in the fine art world and has since been making what I expect is a good living in the mass-produced realm of posters and prints; his rendering of Santa has sold 140,000 copies, and -- no surprise -- he's devoted a lot of time to hockey legends, too.
In any case, he drew my attention to one of his pieces, "The Canadian Game," a pretty awesome, totally folksy historical cross-section of great moments in Canadian hockey's history (my long-suffering Calgary Flames make only a passing appearance, but no matter). In any case, I loved the thing; straight-up, sincere homage, delivered without pretense. Take that, Danby lovers (and no offence to Ken, who I understand was a very nice man).