A West Vancouver business-man-turned-artist has achieved the ultimate goal—having his work exhibited in Paris.
When it comes to Toronto-Vancouver flights, “uneventful” is usually the best one can hope for. That wasn’t the case, however, for president and founder of Ocean West Financial Group, GK Hinkson, whose life changed course on a business flight home.
Hinkson re-watched a film he’d seen before, the 2000 biopic Pollock, about the modern American painter. Chosen mostly, he admits, because star Ed Harris is one of his favourite actors. “By the time I’d gotten halfway through that movie, I was so pumped, all I could think about was how I was going to get my assistant to find me a studio,” he remembers.
The following day, and for the first time in his life, the ersatz artist who’d never touched pen to paper except to sign a contract, was standing in a rented studio space looking at a large, empty brown-paper panel surrounded by acrylic paints. Three hours later, he’d finished his first piece of art and started down a new path.
Just over two years later, Hinkson’s large-format, abstract pieces are coming into their own. Built up by hand and with no paintbrushes or knives, he layers colours on wet canvas and manipulates paint by “washing” it off. Occasionally, sand (and in his most recent works, coffee grounds) are incorporated. The result is soothing but with an underlying tension not unlike a naturalized version of the marble paper flyleaf of an antique book.
This past October, Hinkson travelled to Paris for his first international vernissage for his piece “Midnight Blue” at the highly influential PAKS Gallery located in the Carousel directly under the Louvre. 2018 will see his work exhibited in Vienna, Montreux and Art Basel in Switzerland as well as an offshoot line of men’s dress socks and a sports clothing line incorporating his designs.
“Painting is therapeutic,” he says on the phone from the insurance firm where he’s still the president. “I love that vortex — the singular focus on the artistic process. When I’m painting everything else just disappears.”