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About Paul John
Paul John Daniels a Coloured male born on 12th of July 1975, in Bellville South, Western Cape, South Africa.
He attended Kasselsvlei Primary school and matriculated at Kasselsvlei Senior Secondary.
Paul has always been an artist, from school projects to Fairs and writing out certificates for the prestigious awards at the end of the year, Paul developed a steady calligraphy hand.
Paul’s interest in oil painting started in 2003 when a friend gave him a few tubes of paint after cleaning out a wardrobe. Paul took the paints and started painting on cardboard and hardboard.
2004 - Paul’s life took a dramatic turn when he accepted a job as a Taxi driver. It was during these years that Paul visited various galleries, took photos and drew people at the local taxi rank.
2005 - Paul was a keen reader and visited the library whenever he got the chance to do so. On a night as he was on his way to take the books in he saw an exhibition in the Art B Gallery; this caught his attention and he decided to have a look. After viewing the exhibition he realized it was Conrad Thyes of Bellville South and soon thereafter he knocked on the successful artists’ door for advice. Conrad then offered to view Paul’s art. Conrad suggested that Paul come and observe him mix his paint and prepare his canvas, but that never happened. The well known artist was a very busy man and the youngster did not get the chance he was offered. However, Conrad Theys was available later in 2006 to discuss colours and artistic approaches and how to deal with future galleries. Here Thyes revealed many secrets about galleries and what happens inside.
Paul was advised by Thyes to change his profession as a taxi driver. It wasn’t that easy as he had a family that he had to provide for and also supplement his art career. Paul earned a minimum wage as a Taxi driver and if that wasn’t enough, on the 20th November 2006 in the early hours of the morning, Paul was severely assaulted by members of the SA Police. He sustained neck, back and rib injuries. This was a major setback for him as he could not work. The result of his unemployment placed heavy strain on his marriage which eventually ended in divorce. He wanted so much success, recognition and creative expression but it proved difficult for him. As time passed he became a frustrated and angry man, not wanting to touch a paint brush for months. He stayed away from Conrad Thyes never to return.
After meeting another Artist Henry De Leeuw from Bellville South, he found inspiration and began to paint vigorously, this time he was a man on a mission. Henry helped Paul to get his self esteem back. He was more eager to learn and they spent many hours working together. Henry took a liking to Paul and saw the passion and talent in the youngster. Paul painted like he was doing it for many years and thus regained his confidence.
Somehow money always had a negative effect as he struggled to earn a good salary and utilize it for his family and his intended passion. Not being able to sell a painting caused him to withdraw. Henry reached out to Paul many times, encouraging him to keep on painting and drawing and to never give up. He told Paul that it’s never easy selling your name but you will get there if you are willing to work harder and do the time.
2009 – 2011 - The hard work paid off. Paul’s work got accepted in galleries. He brought a new feel to the ‘Art World’. His colourful approach of District Six and Bo Kaap, demonstrated bold brush strokes, proclaiming with confidence. His charcoal drawings still seeking and reaching inside the viewer.
Years later, Paul and Conrad Thyes ran into each other at a local gallery and Thyes viewed Pauls work. He tapped on his shoulder and said “You’ll be okay... Don’t worry...”
Paul is now secure and happily married 2nd time around. He is also steadily trying to be a full time artist, positive and full of hope.
2012 - On the 16th of March Paul had his first SOLO EXHIBITION at the “Melting Pot” a Local Jazz Lounge in Muizenburg. He show cased 18 Oil Paintings and 5 Charcoal framed sketches. It was here where he caught the eye of Lionel Davids, who bought one of his Still Life paintings which appealed to him greatly. Lionel is a former political prisoner at Robin Island and Curator at the museum and now his personal mentor. Lionel strongly recommended that Paul concentrate on still life and landscape paintings as this reflect his inner peace as an artist.
“NEVER GIVE UP”
THE ARTIST – Paul John Daniels
Melting Pot on 16 March 2012
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