Bob Durham

Bob Durham

Bob Durham is a technically skilled realist painter with a quirky sense of humor. He describes his subject matter as "the comic, tragic, benign, or absurd state of our shared human condition."


Raised in Gallatin, Tennessee, Durham graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in English literature. While he'd always planned on being a writer, Durham discovered his talent for painting and drawing shortly after graduation and never looked back.


He began his visual arts career as an illustrator and found he was far happier telling stories through pictures than with words. After 16 years of illustrating, Durham decided to create images from his own perception rather than those based on someone else's writing. He earned his MFA in drawing and painting from the University of Georgia and returned to Nashville, where he continues his career as a fine-art painter.


Durham’s literary background still influences his work. "My paintings are narrative by nature," says Durham. "They are stories waiting for the viewer to make them happen."


He also reveals his sense of humor by playing with absurdity and mischief in his compositions. This sometimes pushes his pieces right to the line of surrealism, but not quite.


Durham's fine-art paintings have been exhibited nationally and internationally and included in many corporate and private collections. He has taught drawing and painting at Watkins College of Art and Design, Sewanee, Vanderbilt University, and Middle Tennessee State University. His work is also featured in the books The Art of Community: Janet and Jim Ayers' Collection of Tennessee Art, Dynamic Color Painting for the Beginner by Diane Edison, and Art of Tennessee, published by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

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