Paul Parkin, the artist working under the name "Jinxy", uses coffee and other beverages to create his art works. His latest project is in Cryptoart, which uses artworks as a digital wallet to securely store online currencies such as Bitcoin. Jinxy's way of using beverages to create works of art have won him international acclaim. But it's not just coffee that gets the Jinxy treatment:
"I used to work for various companies in the exhibition game at N.E.C Earls court. Olympia Excel Abu Dhabi other show grounds in Europe etc. All the packing crates that transport the goods, cars, machines etc when emptied and stored for the show, I used to draw various things on them they then would be reloaded and sent to the next show elsewhere in the world... The longevity of those crates is between two and ten years, hence the hundreds I drew on covered some miles!!!!! Some high ranking executive of a major car manufacturer mentioned that he probably had the most travelled art in the world!!"
He has painted the Queen, Audrey Hepburn, Bob Marley and the late Norman Wisdom for his 80th birthday. But Jinxy's coffee art doesn't stop there. He has also painted members of the animal kingdom, from a raging bull to a herd of elephants, and launched a children's art competition in Alcester in 2016. It enabled them to see their favourite landmarks on four wheels, as the winning pictures were going to be displayed on the side of a coach. He fired up the children's imagination by painting his own favourite landmark of Birmingham, the famous bull of the Bullring Shopping Centre.
Paul Parkin, 58, got his nickname when he was just twelve-years-old because he was so accident-prone. He survived a fractured skull at one time, which prompted his friends to call him Jinxy after the cartoon cat shown on TV at the time.
Expressing himself with coffee rather than oil or acrylics, Paul Parkin has a studio in Birmingham's Custard Factory. He discovered the power of a well-brewed cup of coffee on a canvas by accident some two years ago. Since then his paintings have sold for thousands of pounds and he's won world-wide acclaim, including winning the London Coffee Festival Visitor Award for his "Coffee Ballerina" painting.
"It all started when I knocked over a cup of coffee I was drinking while I was working," Jinxy said in an interview with the Sunday Mercury.
"It splashed onto the painting I was doing and formed into a perfect hand when it dried! I was invited to show my work at the London exhibition by its curator, Silvia Lioci. I sent my Coffee Ballerina, which has lots of details on the dress.
It wasn’t even displayed well in the competition, but people picked it out. I got through to the last 10 from 350 entries. The award I won was like the people’s choice. I was really pleased."
Despite the unusual medium he uses to create his artworks, Jinxy is not just a creator of novelty items. He is a serious artist who is always on the lookout for the next ambitious project.
"I would’ve liked to have done pictures of children from coffee plantations, where the coffee smudges are the images of the children from Columbia who are disappearing, just to show the exploitation that they face,” he said in an interview with The Birmingham Mail. “That’s the other side of coffee. I’ve done an exhibition like this before, for fair trade coffee."
Parkin uses uses cold coffee of different strengths to create his unusual artworks. He's even been approached by an American coffee shop owner who would like to display Parkin's work, using the coffee shop's own specialist roasts.
"He’s got branches in Chicago and New York. I use all sorts of coffee – it dries differently on different materials, and that can help create different effects."
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