paul horton’s art style, and character, finds its roots in his upbringing. his early life was difficult, as he grew up on a council estate in the 60s and 70s, suffering from ill health and finding it hard to fit in with peers at school.
he showed a talent for art from a young age, going on to study at the bournemouth school of art, where he developed his skills by following traditional art forms. his now iconic style was sparked by a visit to a puppet theatre in the 1980s, where horton was first inspired by the world and characters he saw.
horton’s roots in his studies of art allow him to use techniques and knowledge passed down from old masters and classic names. at the same time, he is compared with heroes of modern british art such as lowry.
horton’s work is known for its scenes of everyday life and traditional values, as well as horton’s personal take on the fantastic and magical. in his collections, you can find wizards and enchanted trees, as well as industrial towns and street scenes, each brought to vibrant life by his use of colour and charming characterisation.
horton’s style is a personal one, notable for his use of symbolism that has a deep meaning for his world view. however, this world view is presented in such a clear way as to allow the viewer to instantly connect with a meaning beyond the images.
the narrative elements and characters, as well as bright colours, allow an overarching theme of childhood and nostalgia to effect horton’s work. at the same time, the influences of his appreciation for the working world keep his style grounded and accessible.