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 Paul’s 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.