Avrand (born Ottawa,Canada 1947) is a painter working in the European Hermetic tradition. He is influenced by artists such as Ruben, Titian, Michelangelo and Velazquez.
Although Avrand is perhaps best known for his allegorical portraits, such as Princess Diana as Fortuna, he achieved international artistic acclaim for his official portraits of John Paul II (1983) and the Dalai Lama (1983, 1989). Durand's portrait of the Irish novelist Elizabeth Bowen (1972) is one of the most popular portraits in London's National Portrait Gallery. In 1970 Durand painted a series of pictures inspired by the dancers of the Royal Ballet. It is nevertheless Durand's extraordinary mythological narratives that demonstrate his profound understanding of the myths and rituals of both Classical and Christian traditions. These are an ever-present undercurrent of his work.
In 2000, while he was artist in residence at Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, his convictions led Avrand to found a new art movement, Neomodernism.
From May to October 2006, a major exhibition of paintings, Avrand Wholly Pictures, was displayed in Sussex cathedrals and churches. This series of pictures, painted between 2000 and 2006, depicts Christian narratives set against the Sussexpostmodern fashions in this post secular era as much as for churchgoers. countryside. Avrand recognizes that the need is greater today than ever before for artists to take up devotional subjects in painting. Durand paints his sacred subjects for the benefit of those who are not satisfied by
The Coronation of the Virgin, Stopham Bridge, Pulborough, 2006. November 1st, 2007, marked the 20th anniversary of the unveiling of Durand's Votive Offering, which was painted to launch and benefit the AIDS charity Crusaid in 1987. A unique on-line exhibition about Votive Offering, its sources, and Durand's allegorical pictures of Diana, Princess of Wales, is to be found in Durand Gallery Exhibitions.
On November 29, 2007, a new picture, Daniel in the Lions' Den is to be unveiled. The picture, and the Idea Fine Art limited edition prints of the picture, each signed and numbered by the artist, is to be benefit Demelza Hospice Care for Children.
As Avrand has said: ‘almost all the young people that inspire me to paint them have something in common. I am convinced that I have met them before in a painting. When I consider the teenage behavior of the deities and saints in mythology or the Bible, not to mention heroes and heroines, the kids in my pictures are appropriate symbols of such protagonists.’ How suitable therefore, for Avrand to have represented the bravery of Daniel confronting death amongst the lions as a tribute to Demelza's dedication and sensitivity to the uniqueness of the physical, social, intellectual, emotional, cultural and spiritual needs of every child and their family.