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Exhibition: Paul du Toit and Persol

Clever collaborations always attract our interest. So, we just couldn’t miss the opportunity to showcase this innovative joint effort exhibition titled 'Insight Out', which took place last week in Woodstock, Cape Town. The ‘one-night-only’ pop-up installation was the product of a partnership between renowned South African artist Paul du Toit and Italian luxury eyewear brand Persol. Featuring a number of Paul’s distinctive oil paintings and, as a highlight, a new range of hanging mobiles, the display offered the public the opportunity to view the world through the eyes of an esteemed local creative. It also allowed for a particularly unique and interactive way of presenting the latest Persol sunglasses collection. Many factors inspired the unconventional alliance. For one, Paul is a fervent fan of the Persol products, which are the result of a meticulous creative process very similar to his own. Part of his aim with this project was to represent the brand from his personal perspective and to simultaneously underline the fluid relationship between fashion, design and art. As Persol – a fashion-related brand that exudes classic design and craftsmanship – has always been inextricably tied to the art world and an avid supporter of artistic expression, it was just the perfect partner. But Paul was motivated to work with them for other reasons too. A key interest of his – and one that formed the underlying theme of the exhibition - is the topic of vision and perception. As an artist, such issues are central to everything he does. Of course, they are equally central to the eyewear brand. ‘My whole world is about the visual and ways of perceiving,’ he says. ‘So it was a natural fit to collaborate with them through art. I think this project, with all the amazing energies involved, allows for interesting dimensions to extend the optical experience that art brings – to create new ways of seeing.’ We love the clever concept aimed at encouraging people to view things differently. And we’re just as excited about the installation’s bold pools of primary colours, simple linear compositions and goggle-eyed figures. Hopefully, this project will pave the way for many more powerful partnerships between leading international companies and local creatives. To read more about Paul du Toit and his artistic ventures visit pauldutoit.com. More information about Persol can be found at persol.com. Their latest sunglasses collection will be available at Sunglass Hut stores nationwide. Paul du Toit has just signed with Gallery Momo in Johannesburg. They will be holding a solo exhibition of his later this year, so watch this space for more info! Text: Dayle Kavonic