In Toto, Johannesburg is thrilled to present Jean du Plessis’ solo exhibition, Beauty Awakens the Soul to Act. For the past 4 years, this South African born artist has based himself in Marshalltown at the heart of the Johannesburg CBD. He has participated in numerous exhibitions with likeminded gallerists and has an upcoming show in Porto, Portugal later in the year. About his work Du Plessis says, “ the pictorial language is the physical trace of my artistic ego and thus the abstract gesture becomes the metaphor for my isolated search as an individual. I paint not the thing but the emotional effect it provides, my individuality becoming the central protagonist in my work “. Beauty Awakens the Soul to Act, the name of this exhibition, is the caption of an important canto from Purgatoria 18 by the poet Dante Alighieri and forms the basis for the show. Through this body of work Jean tries to communicate self-acceptance and love and how we conduct ourselves in society through our aesthetic contribution and humanness. “Only once we take ownership of the cards we have been dealt in life only then can we be of use to our fellow man,” says Jean Having internalised this statement, Jean creates a deep and profound back drop for his show that resonates with a bold intensity that is both refreshing and real. Du Plessis encourages individual interpretation of his work, despite the pieces being inspired by his personal narrative. Jean’s work includes bold, large-scale mixed media works on canvas and paper complimented with aluminium and stainless-steel sculptural works.