Huub Vinken (Breda Nl.,1967) is dealing with questions like: ‘What is an image?’, ‘What can be considered original?’ and ‘Can I transform Reality into an Idea or is Reality an Idea already?’

In 1992 he showed a work called Pulverized Objects On Canvas: a series of about 40 canvasses showing an image of an object from his studio at the time. This image was painted life-sized with the powder or pigment he became after pulverizing the object. In this way the original object was sacrificed to become its own image.


In 1999 Huub Vinken won the prize for proposing an answer to the question  ‘What is the most Autonomous piece of art of 1998?’, organized by the Dutch Art space Kunstruimte Kampen. The prize, a car of 5.000 euros, was won by Vinken for his proposal to demolish this prize/car and to create twelve little trophies out of this. Then to give away these trophies to twelve other artists that were nominated to win the prize. Huub Vinken received the prize in 1999 and handed over the trophies during a tumultuous ceremony in the artists’ society Arti et Amicitiae in Amsterdam.


In 2001 Huub Vinken started a project called Pure Hair, which is a collection of artists’ brushes using a lock of real hair of renowned and not-renowned contemporary painters. Each brush was engraved with the name of the painter concerned, similar to brushes of famous brands like ‘Da Vinci’. The collection consists of about 50 brushes, among them ‘names’ like Tom Wesselman, Erik van Lieshout, Imi Knoebel and Michael Raedecker. In 2016 this collection was sold to a renowned private collector in Brussels.

Huub Vinken paints since the age of about 15. At a moment in 2004 the brushes he used were of poor quality, leaving some hair in his paintings. This gave Vinken the idea one could stop using paint and pass on with hair as a medium. Hair fascinated Vinken since his childhood, clearly remembering his reluctant visits at the barber as a little boy. Now he discovered a historical tradition of the use and meaning of human hair in culture, in particular Remembrance Art in the 19th century.


From blond to white

By drawing very detailed images on wooden panels, hair by hair, Vinken refined his technique. Then he started a new series of work. This work, Hair On Photos, are lambda-prints partly pasted with his own hair of the head, using transparent hair gel. It will be a lifetime project, as long as Vinken will have a hairdo. His ideal is to create a series of prints on which the hair shows a progression from blond to dark, to grey, to completely white. The photos show us situations that inspired him in his daily life. You see interiors of public building, people and animals in city parks, playgrounds and zoos. He calls these inspiring situations ‘Hubistic Moments’; visions that reflect a sensation of indisputability and serene contemplation, sometimes combined with delicate details of odd, eccentric or humoristic elements. Not searching for these situations, but simply finding himself in the middle of it.

Huub Vinken absorbs the tradition of remembrance art in his own system. For him, this personal follow-up of a past tradition is important as an act of banishment or exorcization. It takes a while to grow your hair- 1cm. a month- and it takes a while to make such detailed work.


Since 2005 Vinken is creating a series of photos were he appears waving. Like the Hair On Photos, these pictures are taken in daily life, when Vinken recognized a situation as  a ‘Hubistic Moment’.