Profiles & Features | Kurt Pio

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There’s an ancient Nigerian proverb that reads “The stars shine brightest when the moon is gone.” But this is not so in the case of Kurt Pio, who recently presented his first solo exhibition at the Thinking gallery in Woodstock Exchange. Titled “Full Moon: A series of paintings by Kurt Pio”, it’s inspired by the period around the full moon and its palpable, energy-shifting effects on our planet. Kurt taps into what he believes is a heightened period of love, emotion and creativity, which culminates in a collection as evocative as the moon itself.

Over a cyber coffee I got to know a little more about this gentle man and emotive artist.



Clarkes. In Cape Town. It’s unpretentious and attracts an eclectic, interesting mix of patrons.


A Rolex Submariner, I don’t own one. Yet.


Sunglasses. I have a sunglasses fetish and own at least 12 pairs. My favourite? Ralph Lauren’s classic tortoise shell with a round frame. Love them so much I actually have 2 pairs.


no.8 Eve genuine bristle brush.


Burt’s Bees Lip Balm


Converse low and high tops

Style icon:

Legendary English artist David Hockney in his younger years. His rebellious rash of scruffy, bleached yellow hair, the hefty circular glasses and his unabashed clashing of colour and pattern in his outfits. And how he wore them with a dishevelled air of bohemian fabulousness. And Cecil Beaton – the iconic fashion and celebrity portrait photographer whose extraordinary career began in the 1920’s (as a staff photographer for Vogue) and went on to span more than 60 years.


Steven Daldry’s German-American romantic drama The Reader


New York.


Levi’s skinny 510’s. 3 pairs. Washed out, faded blue.

Your personal style:

I go through phases and enjoy enjoy a mix of clothing, some old, some new and with a bit of a twist. I/m not one for dressing like a shop window display.I enjoy patterns and prints too. But most importantly my clothes must be functional, my pants or shorts must have pockets that work well and don’t lose wallets keys etc when sitting down. I change into my overall when I get to my studio, but most of my clothes end up getting paint on them anyway! I’ve made peace with that.

Grooming tip:

Grow a beard, get a trimmer.


Chanel Sycomore. My good friend David West introduced me to it. David has impeccable taste and is always educating his friends on the latest scents.


My lounge, although it’s totally impractical. I bought a f*cked up antique French lounge suite, it looks amazing but lounging is impossible.

Home décor item:

My Campaign chest of drawers.

Pet aversion?

People who moan.


Lamu, Kenya. I was lucky enough to spend my 29th birthday there, a holiday I will never forget.  Lamu is such special mix of cultures from historical trade routes that somehow still manages to feel untouched by the outside world. I loved the mangrove, the huge deserted beaches. I practically lived in a locally made kikoi and sandals and only putting on a shirt when dining.

Best at?

Dirtying only one dish when preparing a meal.

Worst at?

Doing dishes.

Would you rather drink sour milk or go to the opera?


Can you sew on a button?

I am also a Milliner by trade – so yes, I can. But I couldn’t be bothered.

If you could be a woman who would you be?

Mélanie Laurent.

Favourite movie line?

“Watch your thoughts for they become words,

watch your words for they become actions,

watch your actions for they become habits,

watch your habits for they become your character,

and watch your character for it becomes your destiny.

What we think we become.”

– taken from “The Iron Lady” , the film about Margaret Thatcher

I am not surprised by Kurt’s choice of movie line. It is quite apparent in his own character. 

See more about Kurt and his work here: &

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