KEN DANBY - "At the Crease" - Custom framed limited edition
Ken Danby's 'At the Crease', one of the most famous and iconic images of sport, has now been republished in a new state-of-the-art reproduction print. Rather than simply reprinting from the previous proofs, this edition has been created from the original painting for the first time since it was originally published in 1972. Utilizing the latest print technology under the artists' personal supervision, the resulting prints represent an amazing testimony to the richness and fidelity of this renowned work of art.
- Framed Size 36" x 29"
- $325.00 cdn
The most famous anonymous goalie in hockey history
One of the coaches was some guy named Walter Gretzky, who he says would regularly drive him to the rink. Often with his young son in the car, a kid who would come on the ice and take shots on him when the action had moved to the other end, he recalls.
Nearly a year went by. Then late the following summer as Kemp was walking down the street in Banff while working at a hockey school, he flipped open the pages of The Hockey News. Then stopped. There was a photo of a painting called "At The Crease."
It was him.
"I was kind of shocked," he says. "This is very interesting. I hope it turns out well."
Oddly, he told almost nobody. He simply didn't think people would believe him, which turned out to be the case the few times he did share. That, and the fact that nobody yet knew the work so he figured pointing himself out would be more than a little impolite.
Funny thing, though. In time he started seeing the image everywhere. Over the years thousands of copies have ended up in restaurants and bedroom walls and rinks and pretty much anywhere else you could imagine. There's almost certainly never been a painting of hockey that's been seen by more people.
But with his tight lips and Danby keeping it quiet, his identity remained a pretty well-kept secret for 35 years.
This was as the artist wanted it. Danby's son, Ryan, had been one of the first three people to see the work in his father's studio once upon a time. He was tiny then. But over the years, he says his dad insisted the painting wasn't supposed to be any particular person. Rather, it was supposed to represent the image of every goalie he faced while playing recreational hockey.
Still, some swore it was Ken Dryden. Others said Tony Esposito. Ryan Danby says his dad had intentionally not given a name to the player because it's art. The viewer can make the goalie whoever they want it to be as he did. That gives it its power.
"Dennis Kemp posed for the reference but dad worked off that," he says.
But when the Canadian legend passed away in 2007, Wayne Gretzky – who'd shot on the same goalie as a child – let Kemp's name slip to reporter Randy Boswell. Suddenly the secret was out for anyone who wanted to know. There really was an actual goalie behind the image.
The Guelph Memorial Garden is gone now. It was demolished in 2005 and a new city hall was built on the site. Kemp is now 63 and living in Alberta where he has mining interests. He still has the print and the thank-you note Danby sent him in 1973.
And he says he has the mask.
To this day, he's only ever signed one, at a bar after a men's league hockey game...
from Ken Radley
NOTE - If you are not in or around Calgary or can make arrangements for delivery, shipping is not recommend for this piece. Contact me .