Derrick Guild was born in Perth, Scotland, in 1963. From 1983-1987, he attended Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, in Dundee, Scotland, where he received a First Class Honors BA in Fine Art, and Postgraduate Diploma, Highly Commended. Guild briefly taught at the Art Institute of Chicago, and was a visiting lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art, and his alma mater. He has received numerous awards and accolades, including a 1984 Diadem Architects Centenary Award, a 1994 Villiers David Award, a 2004 Royal Scottish Academy Sir William Gillies Bequest Award, a 2005 Carnegie Trust Award for the Universities of Scotland, and was inducted into the Royal Scottish Academy in 2010. Guild has had solo exhibitions at Paton Gallery in London, The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh, and Allan Stone Gallery in New York. He has been in group exhibitions throughout the United States and United Kingdom. Guild lives and works in Endinburgh.
Working in a style that links mystery, irony, and realism, Derrick Guild channels the Dutch Rococo and seventeenth century Spanish painting in contemporary depictions of everyday objects isolated on dark backgrounds. By heightening the quotidian and familiar to new levels of poignancy or perplexity, Guild imbues objects with an uneasiness that defies conventions. Like Magritte, whose use of visual-puns both warp and twist our earthly imaginations, Guild uses sly humor to play with our subconscious. Appearing to arrive from a dream world, Guild’s subjects catch us off guard: straw hats covered in cloves, bread-shaped crosses, or dog-eared parchment with irises, lilies and cacti growing from a common stem. These objects, isolated like specimens, relics, or evidence of a crime, tease the viewer with understanding, but their truth remains opaque. While Surrealist painters worked in a world that often seemed far removed from our own, Guild confounds or sense of logic with paintings that touch reality, but remain forever out of grasp.