Artists Toby Raine

Toby Raine

Lives and works in Auckland

Toby Raine is an Auckland-based artist who received a Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Auckland in 2016.  He has a distinctive approach to painting, moving large quantities of oil paint across the surface of a canvas with confident strokes.  Taking an image or a photograph as a starting point, Raine’s work ends up in a terrain between representation and abstraction.   He writes, “There’s no set goal except to make a painting work. I start with a projected image, and then I work into that... It comes out of a ritual, or a rule. The paint builds up and I work back into it or I wipe it off. There’s a grapple between control and spontaneity. I typically waste a lot of paint, though hopefully I reach a moment where I’ll say, ‘yeah that’s interesting, that surprises me’. I’m not satisfied if I’m not surprised.”

Raine’s recent work has been inspired by popular culture, referencing male icons or ‘heroes’ through the lens of portraiture.  Raine invokes the magician, the rock god, the messiah, the prophet and the artist.  He has a particular fascination with facial hair and the pride that gets assigned to it.  By reflecting on influential and infamous artists and musicians, Raine explores how their image and ego affect his own identity. It comes as part of a wider investigation, where Raine considers the primordial or the predecessor, looking at the way men fashion their masculinity on historic examples.

Toby Raine joined Gow Langsford Gallery in 2018.

Toby Raine


2013- 2016 Doctorate of Fine Arts, Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland

2011 Master of Fine Arts, Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland

2006-2007, 2009-2010 Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours ) Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland

selected exhibitions

Download full Curriculum Vitae

2018 Heroes and Hangovers, Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland

2016 ManCrush, Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland

2015 The Beard Portraits, Wallace Gallery Morrinsville Flexi-Space, Morrinsville

2013 666 Chapter Two, George Fraser Gallery, Auckland

2012 Omen, Second Storey Gallery, Auckland

2011 Deep Zen Pill, St Paul Street Gallery Three