Internationally-acclaimed Gibraltarian painter and Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2014, Christian Hook, is the latest addition to the Gibraltar Gibunco International Literary Festival programme of speakers. He will discuss his new book ‘La Busqueda’, and give readers a privileged insight into his artistic work.
Christian was the recipient of the inaugural Clarendon Fine Art Award and in 2014 held a solo exhibition at the Clarendon Gallery, following his participation in the LS Lowry Exhibition at the Clarendon in 2013.
Christian’s style combines classical art techniques with broken image in an exploration of time and motion, in paintings that are rooted in tradition but incorporate a fresh and contemporary feel. His influences range from Cezanne’s use of multiple viewpoints to Antonio Lopez and Lucien Freud.
Gibraltar is both his home and place of work, and Christian has explained that within each of his paintings there is a sense of the interweaving of mediterranean folklore iconography and the remnants of British colonialism. Many will remember the exciting outcome of the Sky Arts Award in 2014 and the tense televised final at the National Portrait Gallery in London, which culminated a ten month search for the most talented portrait artist in the UK. Christian won with a portfolio of work including portraits of boxer Amir Khan and of actor Sir Ian McKellen. His prize was a £10,000 commission to paint a portrait of award-winning actor Alan Cumming for The Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
Minister for Tourism, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, welcomed the confirmation of Christian Hook as one of the local participants in the Festival: “We are thrilled and privileged that Christian Hook has agreed to participate in this year’s edition of the Literary Festival and grateful that he is making time to be in Gibraltar for the event. It is a wonderful opportunity for a home-grown artist, who kick-started his career with local competitions and exhibitions and has gone on to attain such international success and recognition for his work, to share his creative insights and inspiration at his own local Festival.
“We are keen to develop the Gibraltar International Literary Festival as a showcase for local talent - that is something we seek to do each year - and Christian’s impact on the international art world, particularly since winning the Sky Arts Award, has been truly outstanding. It is therefore only natural that we should take this opportunity to bring him to a home audience that has celebrated his magnificent artistic achievements.”