Paul Horton has been painting and exhibiting his art for over 40 years, his inner
determination and self-belief to dedicate his life to art has earned him a reputation as one
of the most popular artists of his generation.
Growing up on a council estate during the sixties and seventies has played a significant part
in forging his character. During those days times were tough and as a child he struggled with
ill health that had a detrimental effect and his ability to find his true place within the
classroom environment. Out of adversity his natural talent for art emerged; not only did it
represent a form of escapism but ultimately as fate would have it became his destiny.
Horton was once described by his art teacher as drawing like a pre-Raphaelite which
encouraged him to seek out and study the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood. Inspired by this he
developed a deep interest in figurative painting which he cultivated during life drawing
classes at the renowned Bournville School of Art. It was his studies in the traditional use of
the figure and approach to realistic representation that allowed him years later the
confidence to paint and sculpt from his imagination.
During the mid-eighties Pauls art took a major change of direction, he was invited to a local
puppet theatre that was about to close its doors for the last time. Given access to the
storeroom of puppets and marionettes, what he found laid out before him he would later
describe as a lost world. It was a world full of fables, fairy-tales and folklore that became a
cathartic turning point, as he breathed life into the strange and bizarre characters before
him. The first paintings showed the puppets still with strings and it was only sometime later
that he released them from their bonds, creating his own assortment of personalities and
the beginnings of the work you see today.
We are taken on a journey through his own personal iconography and symbolism; the house
of love offering protection and sanctuary from what can be a cruel and unforgiving world,
the working man who toils for his loved ones without complaint, the benevolent wizard with
his lantern as a beacon of hope that offers an escape from the darkness and the man of
mystery, whose complexities serve to remind us that there are hidden depths behind
everything we see. He also has a desire to represent traditional themes based on the
landscape and everyday life that are woven into the narrative he creates. There is a strong
emotional connection that opens up his work to a variety of rich interpretation.
In the Autumn of 2013 Paul was rewarded with a major exhibition at the Birmingham
Museum & Art Gallery, a rare and prestigious accolade which is testament to his talent and
the dedication given throughout his life. His extensive knowledge of the history of art allows
him to be inspired by the methods and materials of artists such as Degas and Chagall. He is
often described as the modern-day Lowry, with his paintings being imbued with a workingclass
spirit and ethic that is rarely seen. In spite of this, there are clear and constant truths
that only belong to Paul and his audience; he has an innate ability as a storyteller that
enthrals those who have come to know and love his work and taken him to a popularity he
never thought possible.
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