Zarahn Southon is an Auckland based painter of Ngāti Tūwharetoa descent. On completion of a Bachelor of Visual Arts in 1998 Southon had several solo shows and in 2005 he was awarded a Contemporary Pacific Art Scholarship, which funded a trip to study in Florence, Italy.
In 2007 he was awarded a scholarship from the classical art school Studio Escalier in the Loire Valley, France. On completion he furthered his studies with the senior lecturer at Studio Escalier and pioneer of Restructured Realism Ted Seth Jacobs in San Francisco. Southon regards these periods of study in Italy, France and America as highly influential on his current practice.
Southon explores allegorical themes, portraiture and still life within his personal take on Dutch genre painting. Also apparent are references to contemporary Classical Realism, Restructured Realism and 19th century Romanticism.