His murals are
to be seen far and wide, from Windsor Castle to a top security prison in Australia.
Gary Wayne Cook,
born in the UK in 1958, arrived in Eivissa at the end of the 1980s with a specific
commissioned work to do.
It was a mural
painting in Pike's Hotel, one of the best, famous and most pretty rural hotels
on the Island, near Sant Antoni de Portmany (Freddy Mercury, Julio Iglesias,
Tony Curtis and Monserrat Caballé are some of the guests that made this small
hotel known all over the world).
He came by boat
from Mallorca, where he was living for a while after travelling and working
in many different countries; his murals grace the UK, Holland, Australia, Israel
and Spain among other countries.
As Gary was
living in Mallorca, he was not so impressed by the light or our sea. In fact,
when I asked him what was the first impression the Island made on him, he confessed
that what he remembered most was the fear he felt with the chaotic traffic when
he first came on that summer afternoon driving a scooter, from Eivissa Town
to Sant Antoni.
It was not until
a few weeks later when one of Tony Pike's sons started showing him the little
villages of the interior and the splendid beaches that Gary started slowly to
discover the beauty of Eivissa. Since then, apart from some short trips, he
has never left the Island again.
Gary is still
recovering from a very serious accident he suffered just over two years ago.
He lives with his lovely German wife, Brigitte, in a three-hundred-year-old
"casa payesa", a nicely renovated "finca"
in the interior of the island where they have to produce their own electric
power and collect rainwater, a real Eden where the asphalt roads, electricity
and telephone wires haven't yet reached.
As Gary is also
a man of not too many words, instead of answering my questions he preferred
to write his replies to me, and - as his English writing is better then mine
- I have just copied it all, literally (sic) as it was, hoping that you wouldn't
have to read the questions to understand his answers.
a mural painter when I dropped out of college where I was studying business,
so I have no formal "art education"...In fact, my art "A"
level was the only exam which I failed at school, so the idea of going to an
art school didn't enter my mind... I still remember the painting, which I did
in the exam, they were quite good, in fact, I could have sold them subsequently
now that I think about it!
I always say...
"Art School"? You must be joking! You don't need any education to
do what I do!
I use my "art"
firstly to make a living, and secondly to express personal ideas which I may
style of painting is probably the "old master style" or more accurately
the "Renaissance" style.
But style is
just style! For me it's the idea expressed in a painting that counts, not how
I am now working
on sculptures, pieces that I compose from branches of trees that grow here in
Ibiza, mainly around the house where I live.
pieces are of course "home grown", so to speak, and I intend to "offer"
them partly as a "homage" to the island. I hope in some small way
to make my contribution to the culture of the island.
I have a solo
exhibition of this work scheduled for July 2002, in the "Esglesia de l'Hospitalet
in Dalt Vila, Eivissa, with the "Museu d'Art Contemporani d'Eivissa",
which should run through to the end of August 2002".
A Selection of Exhibitions
Solo - Cambridge Central Library
Solo - Watford Central Library
Collective - Camden Arts Centre, London NW 3
Joint, with Patrick Old, Gallery 202, London W 11
Solo - The Studio, London SW 3
Solo - Galería del Artista, Eivissa
Collective - Galería "Es Mulí", Eivissa
Solo - Frends, London WC 2
Collective - Pyramid Art Gallery, Ku, Eivissa
Solo - The Gallery, London W 1
Solo - Frends, London WC 2
Joint, with Lula Martins, Galería Nova, Eivissa
Collective - Libro Azul, Eivissa
Collective - Galería Van der Voort, Eivissa
Collective - Museu d'Art Contemporani, d'Eivissa
Collective - Smart Depot, London NW 1
1999 Solo - Libro Azul, Eivissa
2000 Collective - Libro Azul,
Joint, with Simone Schander, Consell Insular, Feria d'Art
Collective - Museu d'Art Contemporani d'Eivissa
Solo - Villa Mercedes, Sant Antoni, Eivissa
Exhibitions Already booked
for this Year
Solo - Scheduled for July, l'Eglesia de l'Hospitalet, (MAC) Museu
d'Art Contemporani d'Eivissa
Solo - Bar Gallería Can Tixedó, Sant Antoni, Eivissa
Collective - "Los Artistas de los años sesenta" (MAC) Eivissa
A Selection of Commissioned
Bank Leumi, Tel Aviv, Israel. Mural of 1,000 square metres on the exterior of
Gout of Western Australia. Mural of 100 square metres in Perth maximum security
prison with the participation of some of the inmates
MTV Amsterdam. Mural of 500 square metres Exterior of the Culture Centre "The
"Museu d'Art Contemporani" (MAC), Eivissa. Mural
of 100 square metres in Eivissa penitentiary, with the participation of some
of the inmates
"G L C", London. Mural of 500 square metres of an "Intercity
125 Train", painted on both sides of the bridge, in Shepherd Bush Green
Renovation of St. George's Hall, Windsor Castle (after the fire). The British
Coat of Arms painted on a 6 square metre canvas