Featured Artist Hank Spirek

Artist Hank Spirek presents a fascinating portfolio of mixed media works that stretch the boundaries of realism. Visit his website to see more of his art.


portrait painting by Hank Spirek

“Young Lady” mixed media on 300 gsm paper, 61cm x 76cm


I was born in 1947 and raised in Chicago, Illinois. In 1968 I graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BA in Art and Art Education. I spent a further year of graduate study at Arizona State University working towards an MFA in painting. I’ve lived in five different countries, settling in Australia for family reasons in 1986.


portrait painting by Hank Spirek

“Goddess” oil on canvas, 60cm x 75cm


My work has been widely exhibited and held in private collections throughout the southwestern parts of the United States including Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, plus Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. In Australia, my works have been exhibited and privately collected across Sydney and the eastern and regional sections of the state of New South Wales. I do not as a rule enter competitive art contests as I find they tend to distract me from my goal of creating unique works.


portrait painting by Hank Spirek

“Sad Child” mixed media on 300 gsm paper, 47cm x 48cm


Early in my career I was influenced by the Germanic Medieval Renaissance works of Durer and Grunewald. That period’s cultural dialogue of social ugliness, crudeness and cynicism was revisited before and after the turn of the twentieth century by artists such as Van Gough, Ensor, Nolde and Munch. I also draw inspiration from present day Australian artists Euan Macleod and Wendy Sharpe.


portrait painting by Hank Spirek

“Face” mixed media on paper, 47cm x 66cm


The most accurate description of my present artistic style would fall under the term Disrupted Realism.


painted portrait by Hank Spirek

“Proud Mary” oil on canvas, 60cm x 75cm


Disrupted Realism, though not actually a “style” is a broad term used to classify art that tries to reshape traditional realism.


painted portrait by Hank Spirek

“Girl With Ice Block” mixed media on 300 gsm paper, 29cm x 47cm


It is as individual as the artists themselves, with overlapping sets of developments that cross international borders and stylistic boundaries—the uniting characteristic being the need to include the emotion of their process.


figurative paintings by Hank Spirek

Left: “Adam” drawing on 300 gsm paper, 42cm x 65cm / “Eve” oil on canvas, 76cm x 91cm


I use different mediums depending on the piece I am working on. I will use a mixture of oil, watercolour and pastels for those works on cotton duck canvas. Works I classify as drawings are done on Fabriano 300 gsm paper; they will be constructed mainly with watercolour and pastels and, where required, touches of oil.


figurative painting by Hank Spirek

“Temptation” mixed media on 300 gsm paper, 29cm x 47cm


Works described as using mixed media are images created in a similar manner. They are photographed and further Photoshopped and professionally printed, after which the images are reworked with various mediums until I am satisfied with the result.


figurative painting by Hank Spirek

“Watching” mixed media on board, 36cm x 55cm


I prefer to vary my subject matter as inspiration strikes me. My favourite topics range from whimsical to surreal figurative works or ones using birds or creatures of the animal kingdom.


painted portrait by Hank Spirek

“Dreamer V2” mixed media on paper, 47cm x 48cm


I strive to produce a powerful image by whatever means necessary that will cause the viewer to stop and think while providing me an opportunity to explore various techniques and state metaphysical issues.


Artist Hank Spirek invites you to follow him on Facebook and Instagram.


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