Official portrait of Richard Branson to be auctioned for charity

A portrait of Richard Branson, painted by Christian Hook
Christian Hook
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
15 December 2022

An official portrait of Richard Branson produced by 2014 Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year winner Christian Hook is being auctioned for charity.

The proceeds from the auction will benefit the Douglas Bader Foundation, which exists to advance and promote the physical, mental and spiritual welfare of people who are born without or have lost one or more limbs, or are otherwise physically disabled.

Richard Branson knew Douglas Bader as a child. “My aunt Clare was perhaps his best friend,” the Virgin Group Founder said. “He used to sit on the lawn and tell us stories of how he’d escaped on so many occasions from prisoner of war camps in Germany. His spirit of adventure had an enormous influence on my life, as he had on millions of others. He literally reached for the sky.”

The Douglas Bader Foundation is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary and has recently completed a hugely successful initiative to raise enough funds to provide prosthetic upper limbs for every child under 11 who needs one.

Artist Christian Hook chose to paint Richard upside down to celebrate his 2021 spaceflight, his dyslexic thinking, and his zero-gravity perspective. Christian said: “Both Richard and I are dyslexic. Dyslexics tend to see things from different perspectives and do not always follow logical solutions, so I was trying to show the way he sees everything from an entirely different perspective.”

The circular canvas also reflects Richard’s philosophy on circles that he shared with Christian. The artist said: “Richard has a personal philosophy which he implements at work. It is inspiring and often helps his fellow workers to live a more conscientious life. He explained how he starts by asking people to draw a circle around themselves to make sure everything inside that circle is healthy and working well. He then asks his employees to draw a circle around their closest relatives or loved ones. And asks them to take care of the chosen people in that circle. As the employees get promoted, the circle gets bigger, and more people are added to the help list. This is one of the reasons why I chose this circular canvas.”

For more details on the auction visit Clarendon Fine Art.