Ditching the spatula for a paint brush

By Taroi Black

A former competitor on cooking competition series My Kitchen Rules, Paul Rangiwahia believes that he made the right decision to become an artist. Ditching the spatula for a paint brush has given him a voice through his new project called 'Out of the Darkness'.

It may look like a painting done by an experienced artist however you'll be surprised because this man has only been in the game for the past 12 months.

Paul Rangiwahia says, “Out of the Darkness began for me after seeing a book of Maori art and it was photographed by a famous New Zealand photographer called Brian Brake.”

Paul Rangiwahia has sold 5 of these paintings which cost $4000 each. Each painting is done by acrylic on hardboard.

“I was really stuck with the imagery and it was very powerful and really strong. So I knew I wanted to do something with it, I just didn't know what, so I incorporated this beautiful imagery with some ideas I had especially around nature,” says Rangiwahia.

His rise to fame came short on the popular My Kitchen Rules show after he and his team partner Laurence Corlet were the first pair to be eliminated last year.

Rangiwahia says, “The My Kitchen Rules was a great launching path to get my name out there, around the countryside. As I moved into art this is my first full-time job as an artist.”

His exhibition in the Allpress Gallery in Auckland commences this weekend with the collection of paintings showcasing Māori artifacts with some Māori wildlife. 

“What I've done there we've got the pekapeka, obviously the native bat and so I positioned the ruru on top of the appendant and the ruru is the native predator off the pekapeka. So it looks like a beautiful piece but there is that element of life and death,” Rangiawhia.

There's no stopping this guy from Hawera from doing another project which he hopes will be ground-breaking and more relevant to today's generation.