Painter portrays emotions in solo exhibition

The painting “The Showers” by Paul Kintu (R). Photos/ Bamuturaki Musinguzi and courtesy of the artist.

What you need to know:

Inspiration. Paul Kintu’s artistic journey is deeply rooted in his upbringing. His passion for art began with the simple act of tracing his own shadow on the ground and crafting colourful abstract compositions by pressing flowers onto paper.

The self-taught oil painter, Paul Kintu, is holding his solo art exhibition, where he portrays his emotions and experiences through various colours on beautiful canvases.

The exhibition dubbed Colours Speak on Canvas, ends today at the Xenson Art Space in Kampala, having opened on January 26. Kintu is showcasing 23 of his latest skillfully rendered paintings.

Enlightened with a key, lantern and bottle placed on a table, Kintu says the lantern signifies the indigenous source of light, the bottle stand for modernity from the local brews, while the table shows a civilised home.

Invisible Men portrays two identical men, with long necks, wearing similar hats and sunglasses. According to Kintu, this is the everyday life of people who look alike and wear similar sunglasses—you have trouble identifying a crime suspect.

God is Strength shows a woman in a prayerful mood seeking repentance from her god.

Prophecies portray a portrait of a human figure with a face made of several shapes and colours.

Everlasting Life shows a burning candle, a window, and a building with a tower in the background. Moon Light, unsurprisingly, indicates moonlight reflections. Elsewhere, Fishing Time shows fishermen in a boat casting a fishing net in the water.

Paul Kintu’s painting “Invisible Men.” Photo/ Bamuturaki Musinguzi.

Masterful stroke of brush

The other acrylic on canvas paintings are The Three Pillars, Loved and Lost, The Showers, The Surveyor, Reap what you Sow, Hope in Life, Water Race, Wisdom with Us, and The Explorer. While Kintu describes the solo exhibition as challenging, he believes it is time to test his prowess in the art field.

The title of the exhibition—Colours Speak on Canvas—is informed by the fact that he used colours on canvas to send a message to the world.  Colours, he says, mean a lot of things: “some colours will relax the minds of the visitors to the exhibition.”

According to the Xenson Art Space, with a masterful stroke of the brush, Kintu employs a dazzling array of bright colour palettes that vividly capture the luminous essence of existence. Each stroke is a testament to the artist’s desire to explore the brighter side of life, inviting viewers to celebrate in the display of emotions and experiences painted on the canvas.

Incorporating white

As the canvas unfolds, the artist skillfully incorporates white to symbolise the soft glow of the moonlight, an unconditional treasure bestowed upon us by a benevolent creator.

“These celestial strokes of white guide us through random night lights, inviting contemplation on the mystical beauty that graces our world when the sun retires,” the Xenson Art Space adds in its curatorial notes.

Amidst the spectrum of colours, yellows take centre stage, paying homage to the light influence of the divine sun—a blessing not only to Uganda but to the entirety of our shared global home.

“The golden hues beckon us to acknowledge the profound impact of this celestial body, infusing warmth and vitality into our everyday lives,” the Xenson Art Space says.

Kintu’s total abstract style adds an extra layer of intrigue to the exhibition. Within the seemingly chaotic yet purposeful strokes, meanings emerge. These intricate patterns, the Xenson Art Space adds, could signify roadmaps, settlements, or the ebb and flow of day-to-day life.

Abstract artist

“It is much easier for me to pass on a message I want to the people. Art has enabled me to travel near and far and meet different people,” says Kintu.

Kintu’s artistic journey is deeply rooted in his upbringing. His passion for art began with the simple act of tracing his own shadow on the ground and crafting colourful abstract compositions by pressing flowers onto paper.

These early experiences have shaped his career identity. Primarily working with acrylic paint on canvas, he draws inspiration from his everyday life and childhood memories, especially his strong connection to flowers. His compositions reflect personal narratives contextualised for contemporary audiences.

Love for acrylic paint

According to Photizo Art Gallery, Kintu’s art is inspired by the day-to day-events. He uses acrylic and oils on canvas as a medium to express key environmental issues. His art is influenced by the naive technique of children. Kintu also likes to capture childhood memories and bring them back to life on canvas.

Per UMVA Kreatives, Kintu’s career was sparked by drawing his own shadows in the soil, squeezing coloured flowers on plain papers to render colourful abstract compositions. He mainly works with acrylic paint on canvas and his subjects are widely derived from daily activities informed by his childhood.

Paul Kintu’s painting “Prophecies.” Photo/Bamuturaki Musinguzi.

 “I start with sketches, then mix the colours with pallet knife. After that, I apply them on the canvas with a pallet and sometimes brushes,” he explains his approach to visual art, adding, “With the help of friends who studied art and constructive feedback from my clients, I have been able to make it.”

Who is Kintu?

Born and bred in Kampala, Kintu is an active member of several art associations in Uganda. His dedication to his craft is evident through his participation in numerous exhibitions. He has five solo exhibitions under his belt and an impressive 70-group exhibitions, both locally and internationally.

He was among the winners of the Mabaati Art Challenge organised by Sadolin Paints in 2011, and his works have been exhibited in many public spaces. He has established his own studio, the Angavu Art Studio, at his home in Gayaza, Kijjabijo, Wakiso District.

“I plan to establish a bigger arts studio to support upcoming artists,” he says of his future plans. Beyond his artistic pursuits, Kintu also engages in philanthropic works with organisations.