(b. 1952 Haderslev, Denmark)
Paul Augustinus was born in Denmark in 1952 and he has lived all of his life in Africa. He grew upon East Africa's Swahili Coast, living and going to school in Dar es Salaam and Mombasa - both very exotic and romantic towns that dramatically influenced this artist's understanding of Africa in an era when the wildlife and wilderness opportunities available to adventurous individuals on that continent seemed limitless.
In 1978, despite being blessed with a natural talent for painting from a very early age, Paul Augustinus obtained a BSc degree in geology from the University of Natal in Durban where he also discovered his other passion in life - surfing - a passion that continues to the present day. In 1979, after one year working as a geologist in the Karoo, Paul Augustinus decided to take up painting full-time. With this risky plan in mind he bought an old Land Cruiser 4x4 pick-up, loaded it with camping gear and then moved to northern Botswana permanently. For the next eight years he lived and painted under canvas in his own camps in the wildest parts of the Okavango and Chobe regions, returning to Durban every rainy season to recuperate and to surf.
His first book, Botswana, A Brush With The Wild, is a large-format memoir of these adventurous first years as an artist in the African wilderness and is illustrated with his own paintings, sketches and photographs. This was published in 1987 by Acorn Books, and was launched at the Everard Read Gallery in conjunction with an exhibition of his paintings - his first solo show! In the following decades Paul Augustinus has had many more successful solo shows at Everard Read in Johannesburg.
During 1990, Paul Augustinus and his wife, Clarissa, spent five months camping in the wildest parts of Alaska where Augustinus sketched the indigenous wildlife of the Alaska Range, the Brooks Range and the Denali area.
1996 Paul and his wife spent three months on a risky foot safari that penetrated the heart of the Ndoki rainforests in Congo Brazzaville during a time when that country was having a violent revolution. The documentary they made of that arduous journey was broadcast both locally and internationally.
Between 1996 and 2003 four more long, solo foot safaris to the Congolese rainforests were made to collect material for a planned future show of rainforest paintings.
Since 2000, Paul Augustinus and his wife have lived in Nairobi where his wife was a senior manager in United Nations Habitat, based in Gigiri. During this period Paul Augustinus has concentrated producing paintings of East African Swahili Coast scenes and the wild landscapes of Masailand.
Works by Paul Augustinus hang in private and public collections in the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Argentina, Mexico, Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom and South Africa. His paintings reflect his own very personal experience of Africa and the immediacy of his work derives from the fact that he has spent so much time living and painting in the bush. During the past four decades this artist has genuinely 'lived what he paints', and he has accrued eighteen continuous years camped wild in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Sudan, Congo, Gabon, and the Central African Republic.
In his own words his explanation for this dedicated lifestyle is that 'I am not an artist who has looked for a subject to paint. Rather it is the romance of wild country that has made me want to be an artist!'
However the nature of wilderness has changed dramatically during the last four decades - and the artistic path of Paul Augustinus is now defined by a changing journey - one in which he is determined to experience and depict Africa's last remaining bastions of "original" wilderness in an era where the environmental sustainability of his beloved Africa is now teetering on a knife edge.
In February 2015 Paul Augustinus exhibited the latest of an ongoing series of large works at Everard Read in Johannesburg.
SELECTED SOLO SHOWS
Sanderling Gallery - Johannesburg, June 1990
Everard Read Gallery - Johannesburg, September 1998
Everard Read Gallery - Johannesburg, April 2000
Tryon Gallery - London, June 2006
Tryon Gallery - London, November 2008. Everard Read Gallery - Johannesburg, November 2010
Tryon Gallery - London, October 2012
Everard Read Gallery - Johannesburg February 2015
Rountree Tryon Gallery - London 20
Botswana A Brush With The Wild - Paul Augustinus, Acorn Books, 1987 (ISBN 1-874802-05-X) Standard edition
Botswana A Brush With The Wild - Paul Augustinus, Acorn Books,(ISBN 0 620 09677 2 Collector’s edition)
The Red Lechwe - WWF/Botswana first day stamp covers, 1988
Rowland Ward’s Africa - Four signed limited edition prints, 1991
Desert Adventure - Paul Augustinus, Airlife/Acorn Books,1991 (ISBN 1-874802-08-4) Standard edition
Desert Adventure - Paul Augustinus, Airlife/Acorn Books,1991 ISBN 1-874802-09-2 Collectors edition
SELECTED GROUP SHOWS
International Wildlife and Natural History Exhibition - Everard Read, Johannesburg, April 1991
Wildlife and Conservation - Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery’s Gas Hall, October 1997
Tryon Gallery, 1999, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011
Christie’s, Sporting and Wildlife, South Kensington, London 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998
Bonhams, London, 2009
Cullman & Hurt, Community Wildlife Project Art Auction - American Museum of Natural History, New York, February 2003
Fine & Decorative Art, Stephan Welz & Co. in association with Sotheby’s, Johannesburg & Cape Town 2007, 2008
WWF South Africa
Chobe Wildlife Trust
Endangered Wildlife Trust
Born Free Foundation
SELECTED PUBLIC COMMISSIONS
One painting hanging in La Ribera Monteria Pavilion: Spain:2001
Five paintings hanging in FBO Airport Lobby, Dallas: Texas, USA : 2012