The Art of Paul du Toit

In PAUL DU TOIT’s book Fighting With My Weak Hand writer Sarah McCarthy’s essay “Personality of Passion” captures how Paul found his truth and his way forward as an artist.

“Whether it was the latest Apple application, or windsurfing, or prototype IT technology from Korea; Paul has always had an enthusiasm extreme for the task at hand, an obsessive keenness that demands–and is granted–total participation. Or whether it was the exact opposite; a persistent stubborn refusal to participate; a presence that was only there as bystander, observer; perhaps taking notes or collecting driftwood; or admiring a negative shape. Not happy, never satisfied; never quite in the present, and too awkward and shy to communicate much about what may have been going on inside his head.” All of it or none of it, this yin and yang guided Paul toward where he would be in the world and what he would do there: become an artist.”

Words, letters and pictures in Paul’s notebooks, like this one created during a trip to London, often inform Paul’s work.

Eye of Information,1999
acrylic and acrylic paste on canvas

Paul refers to his art studio as Planet Paul and said, “Because I live in my head most of the time, I created this space or planet to which I can return and fill with images.”

Untitled, 1997
acrylic on board

“Art is so solitary…you’re so involved in what you’re doing. It’s inspiring to get out and see what other people are doing. Working with someone else provides an opportunity for a cross pollination of ideas that pushes you, challenges you as each of you makes suggestions.”

Pogo, 2010
oil, oil paint sticks and acrylic on canvas

“When I think of fighting with my weak hand, I think of finding a ‘way to not quit’, and gradually using my weaker hand to create a new line.”

Fashionista, 2010
oil, oil paint sticks and acrylic on canvas

“When I think of fighting with my weak hand, I think: to create art is a daily struggle that I can not live without, and it is a fight — a fight with my weak hand.”

All photos and images © Paul du Toit.

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