Paulus de Groot

Paulus de Groot (1977)

Paulus de Groot, born with “Down Syndrome”, grew up in the art circle of the seventies, wanted to become an artist, like his father, Karel de Groot. He (Karel)  painted his themes in a headstrong and bold way from an academic background. Always in a figurative style, mostly wet on wet in the watercolour technique. When Karel at the end of his life, he had an incurable illness, looked back at his work and life, he told, he had experienced his most beautiful moments in the countryside. Such as the moment when he saw a stork hovering on turbulence, his outstretched “fingers” feeling the air, he described poetically. After his death, his son started a career as an artist at Studio Herenplaats.

Paulus mainly paints his own inner-world, a world which is often restless and can be read as a diary. The events and experiences of Paulus are being reproduced in colour and shape. The death of the cat, the loss of “Daddy Karel”, the discovery of sexuality, the search for limits. The homosexuals, making love with enormous pimols, are painted with bright expressive colours, the nose is mostly placed between the eyes, breasts and navel do not differ in size. He looks for the extreme in horror movies, from the videotheque. He translated these movies in his expressive work. Vampires with blood on their teeth or scary monsters and zombies populate his paintings. A drawing of four aroused homosexuals looks very complicated. All lines are mixed up and you can see that Paulus also loses track in the tangle of lines when filling in the colours. In the drawing “Nude homo and crocodile”, he combines sex and horour in a remarkably original way (crocodile bites in pimol). When I asked him why he is always choosing these themes, he tells me that colours mean something to him. Light yellow and light red, stand for aids and scary diseases. Dark red is the colour of the planet of passion and has to do with love and sex. All colours of the rainbow are for the homosexuals in the sauna. Black clouds instead of white, black is the colour of gloom.

Besides his bizarre themes, that look sweet and innocent as for expressive language, Paulus is also painting portraits of people in his environment, often family members, Karel, Toos or his sister Anna Maria. But you can also find some of my colleques in his work. A beautiful work is “The gate of the swan”, for Mommy Toos.

Anna Maria de Groot is Paulus’ sister and has, just like her brother, the urge to express creatively. She attended the same art academy as her father. Anna Maria expresses, just like Paulus, her personal vision or reflection on man and humanity, life, the world, this time. Her work is a visual diary, the process of expressive experiences and impressions, she gains in her contacts with people. Her style of working is also figurative just like her father and brother. With Paulus you can see a different expression due to his handicap, but in essence he also wants to handle the figurative style. You can also see that Paulus, like Anna Maria, is occupied with the inner world, in which the most personal and intimidate plays an important part. The painting “Nude with pimol on the back”, is almost abstract, we see how Paulus, like his father is turning into a poet.

Paulus has stopped working at Atelier Herenplaats, but is still connected to the collective.  Paulus is working independently on other locations. His work, supported by Atelier Herenplaats materials, is still included in exhibitions by Atelier Herenplaats.


1995  Project Caleidoscope, Cirque des Varietes, Liège, Belgium
1995  KunstRai’95, Amsterdam
1995  Centre d’Art Differencie, Luik, Belgium
1996  “Holland Tunnel” @ Gallery Wares for Art, New York, USA
1996  Otsu Museum of History, Shiga, Japan
1996  Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1996  “Portraits of God” @ Gallery Wares for Art, New York, USA
1997  Karel de Groot Foundation, Rotterdam
1997  World Trade Center, Rotterdam
1998  “Zonder Omweg 2″, Singer Museum, Laren
1998  Museum of Visionary Art, Baltimore, USA
1998  Chuck Levitan Gallery, New York, USA
1999  l’Ancien Musée de Peinture, Grenoble, France
1999  Project Ability Universal Printshow ’99, Glasgow, Scotland
1999  ”Les Indians”, Musee d’Art Differencie, Liège, Belgium
1999  Musée d’Árt Modern, Liège, Belgium
2000  “Self portraits”, Museum for New Art, Pärnu, Estonia
2000  Mad-Attack, Musee d’Art Differencie, Liège, Belgium
2003  Outsider Art Fair, New York, USA.
2003  “Variaties in Vlees” (variations in meat), Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2003  Nocobra, pandPaulus, Schiedam
2003  “Ferme jongens, stoere knapen”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2003  Musee d’Art Differencie, Liège, Belgium
2004  “Gewaagt”, Leiden
2005  Exhibition Karel de Groot Foundation, Rotterdam
2006  “Who Am I”, graphic exhibition Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2006  Jubilee exhibition “15 years Herenplaats”,Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2006  INUTI, Stockholm, Sweden
2007  “No Name”, Galerie Alte Turnhalle, Bad Durkheim, Germany
2007  “Who Am I # 3”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2007  “Outsiderart of the Herenplaats” GAIA museum, Randers, Denmark
2007  INTUIT Fair in Chicago, USA
2008  Outsider Art Fair, New York, USA
2008  “Stendhal syndroom, art that makes you grazy”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2008  Exhibition in Niki Kurabu, Tokyo, Japan
2008  “Desdedentro / frominside”  “Espacio Jovellanos en El Helvedero, Gijon, Spain
2009  Exhibition Karel de Groot Foundation “3 x de Groot” (3 times de Groot), Rotterdam
2009  GAIA museum, Randers, Denemarken “The art of sex, love and eroticism”
2009  Arts Project Australia, Melbourne Australia “Revealing the human”
2010  “Outsider Art Salon”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2011  “Paulus de Groot gaat solo” (Paulus de Groot goes solo), recent acrylpaintings, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2011  Kunstroute, Hoek van Holland
2011  “Continuuum: Gender Identities”, Ridgefield, USA
2011  Outsider Art Exhibition, Wijk bij Duurstede
2011  Novo, Groningen
2011  “Museum of Everything 4”, Londen, U.K.
2011  WTC- Schiphol, Amsterdam
2012  Gallery 23, Giessen, Germany
2013  “Face to Face”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam
2013  La Brut, Rotterdam
2014  exposition “Connect” Copenhagen, Denmark
2018 “Zomergasten” – Dr. Guislain Museum, Gent (Belgium)
2018 Mural Spaanse Polder by Painture Collective, Rotterdam
2019 Chez Freddy, Haarlem
2019 Vout-O-Reenee’s, London

Museum collections
Musee d’Art Differencie, Liège, Belgium
STOARC Collection of the University of Sydney, Australia

1996  Kunst als Medicijn, Academic Hospital, Leiden
1998  “Zonder Omweg 2”, Singer Museum, Laren
1998  Änglar, Stockholm, Sweden
1999  Connexions Particulières, Musee d’Art Modern, Liège, Belgium
1999  Salon d’Art Signulier, Granoble, France
2008  Book “Stendhal syndroom, art that makes you grazy”, history 15 years Herenplaats



3rd prize Grafiek Anders (graphic Show)


In the project beautiful people
images by Paulus de Groot have been used for a unique coffee set