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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Anita DeSoto

Anita DeSoto

Anita DeSoto is a New Zealand artist based in the rural seaside village of Waitati, a transitional town 20 km north of Dunedin. She lectures in Life Drawing and Painting at the Dunedin School of Art and completed her Master of Fine Arts in Painting in 2003. DeSoto has been exhibiting throughout New Zealand regularly since 2000, in both group and solo shows. In 2003 she won the Cleveland Premiere Award in Painting and in 2004 the Andersons Park Public Art Gallery awarded her the McAlister Award. In 2006 she won a national award in portraiture, the Park Lane Portrait Award. DeSoto is represented nationally by the Milford Gallery, Dunedin and Oedipus Rex Gallery, Auckland.

Throughout her work there is a recurring theme that nothing is what it seems and perception is coloured by desire. Whether we are naive or cynical, our needs dictate our impressions. We can project onto others to our own disappointment. I like to paint people shinier than they really are. She is explores unexpected compositions of life size figures which defy gravity and appear to be one thing in reference to the history of art; but are really something else. She is inspired by religious iconography and Renaissance painting and use them to portray our human frailty.


Master of Fine Arts at Otago Polytechnic School of Art, Dunedin, New Zealand.
This qualification required a written dissertation, a solo exhibition and journal documentation of studio practice.

Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Otago Polytechnic School of Art.


2004 - 2009
Life Drawing & Painting Lecturer at Dunedin School of Art at the Otago Polytechnic.

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