About Peter Pharoah

'I have a passion for Africa and its people. The heat, dust and textures are my inspiration and the beauty, strength and pride of the people make interesting subjects, their faces providing a vehicle to portray a feeling of Africa. My wildlife, seascapes and abstracts are created with the same strength, colour and energy as the African tribes; all these subjects characterise the warmth and strength of the African continent.'

Peter was born in Johannesburg in 1969. In 1986, he matriculated from Kearsney College, where he won numerous art awards including the illustrious Natal Schools Art Award and the Grahamstown Art Festival Award.

He went on to study art and graphic design at the Witwatersrand Technicon, where he won the Wilsenach Young Designer's Award. On completion of his studies, he joined Young & Rubicam, an internationally recognised advertising agency, where he worked as an art director and illustrator.

In 1994, he began working as a freelance illustrator in the advertising industry where he was proficient in all mediums, airbrush, pastels, gouache, acrylics, etc.

In 1998, he moved to the Wilderness in the Garden Route of South Africa to become a full time fine artist. In March 2001, The Pharoah Art Gallery was officially opened in a picturesque thatch cottage on the banks of Wilderness Lagoon, the gallery houses a number of other South African contemporary artists such as Beatrix Bosch, Peter Diggery, Fiona Rowett and others.

In 2010, the Pharoah Gallery was destroyed in a fire, Peter's entire collection of original paintings and prints including works by Zondi, Irma Stern and Maud Sumner were destroyed and the building had to be demolished.

Upstairs at the Girls Restaurant
Later that year, the Pharoah Print Gallery was opened at the Girls Restaurant in Peter Pharoah's extensive range of prints is now available to purchase from his new permanent display at this award winning Wilderness restaurant and in January 2011, when a space became available in the village, the Pharoah Gallery was reborn... It is now located adjacent to the Blue Olive Restaurant in the Wilderness Centre.

Peter's work has been described as "a stunning evocation of tribal people, imbued with the heat and dust of Africa". His first solo exhibition "A Journey into Africa" held at Trent Read's Knysna Fine Art Gallery, during February and March 1999, featured a collection of unique portrait studies of tribal Africa. His powerful strokes and bold use of colour flawlessly captured the harshness and cruelty of Africa, and yet defined the beauty and elegance of the African people in a way that is impossible to ignore.

Peter's paintings grace the walls of many corporate and private collections around the world including many parts of Europe from Germany, France and Netherlands to Italy and even the Czech Republic as well as Canada, Britain and South Africa and many parts of the United States where Peter is represented by the ZUVA Gallery in Arizona.

Peter is an avid hang glider pilot, when he is not painting; he enjoys escaping into the rugged African bush in search of inspiration and those ever-elusive thermals. More recently he has become passionate about kitesurfing and enjoys a wild ride on the waves after a hard day's work in the studio. In 2008 he fulfilled a lifelong dream by obtaining his private pilot's licence and he now enjoys taking trips to the bush in search of reference and inspiration.

Peter Pharoah is an official Art Ambassador for Helping Rhino and contributes artworks for auction at the Global Helping Rhinos annual event that takes place online and at various locations around the world. His contribution has helped the organisation in raising GBP1000s towards the fight against Rhino poaching. You can participate by donating, adoprting or sponsoring their initiatives. More information available on their website at https://www.helpingrhinos.org/.

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