In this series, the winner of Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2014, Christian Hook, takes on the challenge of capturing the essence of three celebrities on canvas. In each programme of this new series he gets to know his sitters across three sittings before undertaking a final painted portrait, which he unveils to them at an exhibition at his Mayfair gallery.
Last year, Christian impressed the judges of Portrait Artist of the Year with his highly original portraits of boxer Amir Khan and actor Sir Ian Mckellen, He then went on to produce an arresting painting of multi-award winning actor, Alan Cumming, for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, which now hangs in their permanent collection.
EPISODE ONE: PAINTING MICK HUCKNALL
Simply Red are one of Britain’s best loved and most successful bands, having sold over 50 million albums worldwide. In the year the band has re-formed for their 30th Anniversary tour, Christian paints charismatic front man, Mick Hucknall. As he scratches beneath the surface of this icon of British Music, Christian hopes the resulting portrait will celebrate Mick’s talent as a singer songwriter whilst drawing inspiration from his own love of music.
EPISODE TWO: PAINTING SUE JOHNSTON
From her BAFTA nominated performance as terminally ill Barbara Grade in Goodbye Cruel World, to Sheila Grant in Brookside, The Royale Family and Downton Abbey, Sue Johnston has mesmerised audiences. Christian Hook gets under the skin of this much loved actress and political activist as she invites him into her home to capture her life on canvas. Christian takes inspiration from her Lifelong passion for Liverpool FC and her campaigning work with the survivors of the Hillsborough Tragedy, resulting in two stunning new portraits.
EPISODE THREE: FABRICE MUAMBA
In 2012 footballer and rising premier league star, Fabrice Muamba, suffered massive cardiac arrest on the pitch, which left him without a heartbeat for 78 minutes. Forced to quit the game he loved, Christian Hook paints him as he is rebuilding his life. Reflecting on his life- changing experience, Christian delves into his faith and his family and plans for the future, gathering as much information as he can to capture Fabrice on canvas.