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Dame Judi Dench picks Hook in ‘Portrait Artist of the Decade’

Photos courtesy of Sky Arts.

Famous British actress Dame Judi Dench picked Christian Hook’s portrait in a special episode of the Sky Arts ‘Portrait Artist of the Year’ series.

Last night’s special episode comes nine years after Mr Hook won Sky Arts’ ‘Portrait Artist of the Year’ and pitted him against the other winners of the series.

The artists competed for the title of ‘Portrait Artist of the Decade’ and captured their subject, Judi Dench, who ultimately chose Mr Hook’s work as her favourite.

The portrait was then gifted to the famous actress, who loved the striking colours.

Mr Hook said he was very pleased to have been selected and that the portrait must have resonated with the actress.

Before the show was aired, Mr Hook described how the competitive element of the episode was a surprise to him and the other artists, who came together to mark 10 years of the show.

In the programme aired on Sky Arts at 9pm, eight of the nine previous winners were briefed to paint Dame Dench in a bid to win the title of best portrait painter of the decade.

The episode looked back at each artist’s journey, with the judges remarking how Mr Hook creates beauty out of chaos.

Mr Hook described how the show greatly impacted his career and, after winning, he was commissioned by celebrities including Richard Branson.

He added his art has evolved to use neon colours and “just making a mess” on the canvas.

“I’ll find her in the painting later on,” Mr Hook told judge Tai-Shan Schierenberg.

The judges described how Mr Hook’s piece worked beautifully, with bold colours.

The decision for who won the title of ‘Portrait Artist of the Decade’ was up to the Senior Curator of Contemporary Collections at the National Portrait Gallery, Sarah Howgate.

The prize of ‘Portrait Artist of the Decade’ was awarded to Gareth Reid, who won ‘Portrait Artist of the Year’ in 2017.

Later this month, on October 19, Mr Hook will show his latest collection at the Clarendon Fine Art gallery in Mayfair, London.

The collection of over 20 pieces called ‘The Anatomy of a Concept’ is a 10-year retrospective featuring his unique style.

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