Daniel Barkley was born in Montreal in 1962, where he obtained a Master of Fine Arts from Concordia University in 1994. He is known for his nude figurative work alluding to myths, legends and art history, which has been widely exhibited and collected across Canada and the United States for over twenty years. His work has been the subject of retrospective exhibitions at the Musée des arts contemporain des Laurentides (2004) and University of Toronto's Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (2007), and has been recognized with multiple awards including the Canadian Society of Painters Watercolour’s A.J. Casson Medal in 2002 and 2012 and a nomination for the prestigious Kingston Prize, for which he was shortlisted in 2011.
The human figure features prominently in Barkley’s works and, although they may be viewed as portraits, Barkley’s paintings also allude to myths, legends and to the history of art. The tension between the intimate portrait and the theatrical presentation of stories that present “truths” about the human condition is a principal characteristic of his work. His figures offer the viewer a singular glimpse into a universe in which real people and fictional characters co-exist.