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Duffy Sheridan


"The Bather"

"On a Soft Day"

"Bring Thyself to Account"





"Young Girl at Seashore"


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(American b. 1947)


     Duffy Sheridan has been painting since he was a child.  His father, also an artist, encouraged him to learn to paint anything and everything.  He is unusual in the art world because he is entirely self-taught and because he speaks explicitly of the influence of spirituality on his work.  A member of the Baha’i Faith since 1971, Mr. Sheridan is unambiguous about how Baha’i teachings and principles affect his choice of subjects and themes. 


     Struggling as a painter, he moved his family to the Falkland Islands in 1976, to assist the Baha’i community there.  He thought the isolation would mean the end of his painting, but instead it allowed him to refine and refocus his technique and his approach.  He developed in himself a power of observation.  The sojourn also put him in the path of the Falklands war, which required him and his family to spend every night for two months in an underground bunker.


     Interest in the war led to his first big break, when in 1983 a show in London featured his paintings of Falkland Islanders.  A stunningly lifelike portrait of the family baby sitter, Anya Smith, ended up on the cover of the Sunday Times Magazine in London.  Since then, Mr. Sheridan has won increasing notice as an important figure in the realist school.


     In 1986, the Sheridan’s moved to Samoa for five years.  Returning to the United States in 1991, Mr. Sheridan has become a very collected artist internationally.  “I believe Duffy is one of the top 15 or 20 artists alive today,” said Fred Ross, chairman of the Art Renewal Center, a not-for-profit organization in New Jersey that promotes a return to traditional realism.  “He has a wonderful technique that gets better and better.  He captures the humanity of his subjects, creating very moving pieces that are very compelling.”  Fred Ross, who is a noted collector of 19th Century artwork, has himself added Sheridan’s paintings to his own collection.


     In March 2005, the Center honored Mr. Sheridan’s painting “Trust” with the Chairman’s Choice award in the Second International ARC Salon Competition, which received more than 1,500 entries from around the world.  In 2006, one of his paintings was a finalist in the Third International ARC Salon Competition.  The Center has honored Mr. Sheridan with the appellation “Living Master”, a title it has bestowed on about 40 individuals worldwide. 


     In 2005, his “Self Portrait 2004” won the Director’s Award at the International Guild of Realism Show in Dallas, Texas.  And again his “Promise of Renewal” received the Director’s Award at the International Guild of Realism show in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“I consider him one of the best classical realist painters today,” said Don Clapper, founder of the International Guild of Realism.  “His technique, his ability to render light and shadow, is absolutely gorgeous.  He really captures the emotions and the life of the individuals that he paints.”


     Invited to participate in the 2005 Florence Biennale of Contemporary Art, which is prestigious, invitation-only, art festival which brought 768 artists from 74 countries.  Mr. Sheridan brought three paintings to the exhibition.  The recognition given to Mr., Sheridan at the show in Florence, where he won the celebrated President’s Award, is all the more significant because of the style of his paintings.  Mr. Sheridan is a classical realist and his vision runs counter to the trend in contemporary art toward abstraction.


     His paintings can be found in prestigious institutions from a Cathedral in the South Pacific to the US Air Force Academy to corporate headquarters in Manhattan, as well as in the private residences of kings, judges, bishops, doctors and collectors all over the world. 


     For over 35 years the teachings of the Baha’i Faith have been the primary influence of Sheridan’s life and work and have dominated his continual search for the balance of craftsmanship and artistic expression which has the ability to elevate, in some small way, the human condition.


      Duffy Sheridan feels that he is in the process of learning to appreciate the richness of humankind and has come to believe that the purpose of his work should be “to magnify the dignity and nobility of human spirit and the singular beauty of all things.  When people look at one of my paintings, I’d like them to see that humans, indeed, are noble beings.”

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