Peter Pharoah was born in Johannesburgh in 1969. He attended Kearsney College where he won numerous art awards and from there he went on to study art and graphic design at the Witwatersrand Technicon, where he won the Wilsenach Young Designer’s Award.
Initially, having worked as an art director and illustrator with the advertising agency Young & Rubicam he began to freelance as an illustrator in 1994 and four years later decided to become a painter full time. In 2001, The Pharaoh Art Gallery opened on the banks of Wilderness Lagoon and housed a number of South African contemporary artists such as Beatrix Bosch, Peter Diggery, Fiona Fawcett and others. Sadly, a fire destroyed the building in 2010 together with Peter’s entire collection of original paintings and prints, as well as many of his colleagues’ work.
By way of recovery, Peter was able to open a new Pharoah Gallery in 2011 in the Wilderness Centre and now works and exhibits from there.
Peter’s work is evocative of the African culture and heritage. Using wide, powerful brush strokes with bold colours he creates vivid pictures with more than a nod to abstraction. In his portraits the subjects often look straight at the viewer with an uncompromising gaze and the tribal influence is immediate. In a similar vein, when depicting the majestic game beasts he beautifully captures their dignity and oneness with the wilderness whilst not losing a sense of vulnerability.
Since having obtained his private pilot’s licence in 2008, he now enjoys flying over the bush in search of inspiration and subject matters.
Peter’s paintings grace the walls of private as well as corporate collections around the world including many European countries and the United States.