By James Neish in London
Christian Hook feels “good” to be back exhibiting at Clarendon in London. Just as happy are the collectors, fans, family and friends who gathered for the official opening. There’s a buzz about the new collection which he has called ‘Expedition’ because the inspiration came from travelling extensively.
As I arrive for the official opening I walk past the Ritz hotel and turn into Dover Street. This is clearly Mayfair’s premier gallery district. Through the spectacular window façade of Clarendon Fine Art the power of the work of Christian Hook beams out onto the street.
“It feels amazing” says Christian with some his pieces here selling at up to £250,000. It’s something the artist says he “would have never dreamt of”.
The works combine three of his passions – the figure, horses and Japan.
It’s taken a year to produce this collection. Part of the time was obviously spent in his studio but a good chunk of it was dedicated to travelling across Asia to get new ideas. Christian tells me he visited 23 countries in “search of spiritual energy”.
He said: “I went to see people who read your hands and spiritual events– I was trying to find physical proof of energy channeling through.”
It wasn’t until he reached Japan and he met a master calligrapher that he started to find the inspiration he was looking for discovering the art of Qi (chi). It’s an Asian term for life energy, or life spirit, a vital force that flows through all living things.
Christian said: “I learnt how to pass Qi down onto the work. He showed me two or three different ways how you can prove how much Qi has been passed onto the paper and then I used all that on the new works, so it’s really exciting.”
As he chats to guests the artist smiles and proudly talks about his latest collection. The build-up towards this has been “very difficult” for Christian who tells me “there has to be a concept behind the work, concept is the most important thing really”.
Christian was named as Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year in 2014. Since then his career has rocketed. Earlier this month he was also the opening speaker at the Althorp Literary Festival where there was an exclusive preview of his new collection.
Christian who divides his time between Gibraltar, London and travelling already has “three or four” projects in the pipeline for 2019. He tells me he has been collaborating with more and more artists, including “people in film”. A Netflix series is very possible.
“The ideas are coming together now,” says Christian already eager to start on new projects as we all sip champagne still celebrating this one.