Paulus de Groot, born with “Down Syndrome”, grew up in the art circle of the seventies, wanted to become an artist, like his father, Karel de Groot. He (Karel) painted his themes in a headstrong and bold way from an academic background. Always in a figurative style, mostly wet on wet in the watercolour technique. When Karel at the end of his life, he had an incurable illness, looked back at his work and life, he told, he had experienced his most beautiful moments in the countryside. Such as the moment when he saw a stork hovering on turbulence, his outstretched “fingers” feeling the air, he described poetically. After his death, his son started a career as an artist at Studio Herenplaats.
Paulus mainly paints his own inner-world, a world which is often restless and can be read as a diary. The events and experiences of Paulus are being reproduced in colour and shape. The death of the cat, the loss of “Daddy Karel”, the discovery of sexuality, the search for limits. The homosexuals, making love with enormous pimols, are painted with bright expressive colours, the nose is mostly placed between the eyes, breasts and navel do not differ in size. He looks for the extreme in horror movies, from the videotheque. He translated these movies in his expressive work. Vampires with blood on their teeth or scary monsters and zombies populate his paintings. A drawing of four aroused homosexuals looks very complicated. All lines are mixed up and you can see that Paulus also loses track in the tangle of lines when filling in the colours. In the drawing “Nude homo and crocodile”, he combines sex and horour in a remarkably original way (crocodile bites in pimol). When I asked him why he is always choosing these themes, he tells me that colours mean something to him. Light yellow and light red, stand for aids and scary diseases. Dark red is the colour of the planet of passion and has to do with love and sex. All colours of the rainbow are for the homosexuals in the sauna. Black clouds instead of white, black is the colour of gloom.
Besides his bizarre themes, that look sweet and innocent as for expressive language, Paulus is also painting portraits of people in his environment, often family members, Karel, Toos or his sister Anna Maria. But you can also find some of my colleques in his work. A beautiful work is “The gate of the swan”, for Mommy Toos.
Anna Maria de Groot is Paulus’ sister and has, just like her brother, the urge to express creatively. She attended the same art academy as her father. Anna Maria expresses, just like Paulus, her personal vision or reflection on man and humanity, life, the world, this time. Her work is a visual diary, the process of expressive experiences and impressions, she gains in her contacts with people. Her style of working is also figurative just like her father and brother. With Paulus you can see a different expression due to his handicap, but in essence he also wants to handle the figurative style. You can also see that Paulus, like Anna Maria, is occupied with the inner world, in which the most personal and intimidate plays an important part. The painting "Nude with pimol on the back", is almost abstract, we see how Paulus, like his father is turning into a poet.
1995 Project Caleidoscope, Cirque des Varietes, Liège, Belgium
1995 KunstRai'95, Amsterdam
1995 Centre d'Art Differencie, Luik, Belgium
1996 "Holland Tunnel" @ Gallery Wares for Art, New York, USA
1996 Otsu Museum of History, Shiga, Japan
1996 Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1996 "Portraits of God" @ Gallery Wares for Art, New York, USA
1997 Karel de Groot Foundation, Rotterdam
1997 World Trade Center, Rotterdam
1998 "Zonder Omweg 2", Singer Museum, Laren
1998 Museum of Visionary Art, Baltimore, USA
1998 Chuck Levitan Gallery, New York, USA
1999 l'Ancien Musée de Peinture, Grenoble, France
1999 Project Ability Universal Printshow '99, Glasgow, Scotland
1999 ''Les Indians'', Musee d'Art Differencie, Liège, Belgium
1999 Musée d'Árt Modern, Liège, Belgium
2000 "Self portraits", Museum for New Art, Pärnu, Estonia
2000 Mad-Attack, Musee d'Art Differencie, Liège, Belgium
2003 Outsider Art Fair, New York, USA.
2003 "Variaties in Vlees" (variations in meat), Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2003 Nocobra, pandPaulus, Schiedam
2003 "Ferme jongens, stoere knapen", Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2003 Musee d'Art Differencie, Liège, Belgium
2004 "Gewaagt", Leiden
2005 Exhibition Karel de Groot Foundation, Rotterdam
2006 "Who Am I", graphic exhibition Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2006 Jubilee exhibition "15 years Herenplaats",Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2006 INUTI, Stockholm, Sweden
2007 "No Name", Galerie Alte Turnhalle, Bad Durkheim, Germany
2007 "Who Am I # 3", Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2007 "Outsiderart of the Herenplaats" GAIA museum, Randers, Denmark
2007 INTUIT Fair in Chicago, USA
2008 Outsider Art Fair, New York, USA
2008 "Stendhal syndroom, art that makes you grazy", Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2008 Exhibition in Niki Kurabu, Tokyo, Japan
2008 "Desdedentro / frominside" "Espacio Jovellanos en El Helvedero, Gijon, Spain
2009 Exhibition Karel de Groot Foundation "3 x de Groot" (3 times de Groot), Rotterdam
2009 GAIA museum, Randers, Denemarken "The art of sex, love and eroticism"
2009 Arts Project Australia, Melbourne Australia "Revealing the human"
2010 "Outsider Art Salon", Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2011 "Paulus de Groot gaat solo" (Paulus de Groot goes solo), recent acrylpaintings, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2011 Kunstroute, Hoek van Holland
2011 "Continuuum: Gender Identities", Ridgefield, USA
2011 Outsider Art Exhibition, Wijk bij Duurstede
2011 Novo, Groningen
2011 "Museum of Everything 4", Londen, U.K.
2011 WTC- Schiphol, Amsterdam
2012 Gallery 23, Giessen, Germany
2013 "Face to Face", Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2013 La Brut, Rotterdam
2014 exposition "Connect" Copenhagen, Denmark
Work of Paulus is permanently exhibited in Musee d'Art Differencie, Liège, Belgium
Work of Paulus is permanently exhibited in the STOARC Collection of the University of Sydney, Australia
1996 Kunst als Medicijn, Academic Hospital, Leiden
1998 "Zonder Omweg 2", Singer Museum, Laren
1998 Änglar, Stockholm, Sweden
1999 Connexions Particulières, Musee d'Art Modern, Liège, Belgium
1999 Salon d'Art Signulier, Granoble, France
2008 Book "Stendhal syndroom, art that makes you grazy", history 15 years Herenplaats
3rd prize Grafiek Anders (graphic Show)
In the project beautiful people www.beautifulpeople.nl
images by Paulus de Groot have been used for a unique coffee set