paul kaptein artwork

paul kaptein

Paul Kaptein is a Perth based artist who is currently working with sculpture and watercolour paintings. His work is broadly concerned with the agency of the present moment. This is evidenced in his painstaking and exquisitely hand carved wooden figures and objects. Gaps between the laminated layers of wood are purposefully left, forming contours for emptiness and visual portals for what lays beyond. His artworks are inspired by contemporary culture, everyday observations, philosophical readings and inquiry, news reports, song lyrics, sporting events and politics, all deciphered with a wry dark humour. His watercolour paintings are almost the opposite of his sculptural works, rapidly executed and often containing many different motifs and texts. They are the antidotes to the length of time each carved piece takes.

Dr Ric Spencer noted that "His confounding interest in the immaterial as an expression of the overt reliance (and ignorance of the composition) of materialism as a somewhat naive description of reality has always intersected his fond enjoyment of metaphors, riddles and other transient quips that show a sharp mind dissecting the ineptitude of language. Paul's desire to work in wood seems perfectly natural to me. Wood's growth is dependant on the gaps in the universe - pushing through the soil, climbing into space - wood in itself seems to me a not too subtle reminder of how material is made up of much negative space." (Splicing (the contours of) time, exhibition essay, 2013)

Paul recently won the prestigious $25,000 acquisitive Mandorla Art Award (2014). His work can be found in the collections of New Norcia and Edith Cowan University, as well as many private collections in Australia and overseas.