Sky viewers hooked on Gibraltarian artist’s story

LAST UPDATED: 21 Oct, 2015 @ 09:52

Exclusive by Iona Napier

GIBRALTARIAN artist Christian Hook is riding an astounding wave of success.

Hook and Cumming
Hook and Cumming

His portrait of actor Alan Cumming has been recognised as one of the 100 greatest masterpieces in Scotland’s national galleries alongside the likes of Botticelli, da Vinci, El Greco and Velazquez.

Remarkably, the winner of Sky Portrait Artist of the Year 2014 is one of just five living artists to make the list which was chosen from over 100,000 pieces.

And his appearances on Sky Arts television are also breaking records.

“I really can’t believe any of it,” Hook told the Olive Press.

“I found out my painting Alan Cumming was chosen as a Scottish masterpiece through an online article and it was an amazing surprise.”

He continued: “And I also found out the programme of me painting the work with Cumming received extraordinary numbers of viewers.”

The show which followed Hook’s collaboration with Cumming saw the channel record their highest viewer ratings of the year and led to a string of similarly popular programmes.

Hook has since filmed a trio of famous portraits: Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall, BAFTA-nominated actress Sue Johnston and former Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba.

His exhibition, Reinterpreting the Past, opens this week at London’s prestigious Mayfair gallery where commissions for his work sell for as much as ?75,000.

The secret of his success?

“I don’t wait for inspiration,” reveals Hook.

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