Well known for his Montana Book Award-winning book How to Look at A Painting (2005), a book so popular it inspired a TV series of the same title, which Paton also presented. Justin is the author of many books and essays on artists including, recently, Kushana Bush, Ben Quilty and Adrián Villar Rojas.
His latest book, McCahon Country, coincided with the centenary of Colin McCahon’s birth and offers a road trip through the vision of Aotearoa of “our most soulful artist”. Paton writes, “Where McCahon’s art is most effective, we are the people in the painting. Travellers looking for meaning in the world.”
His column ‘A longer look’ appears regularly in the magazine Art News New Zealand. Currently the Head Curator of International Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Justin has held top curatorial positions at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Christchurch Art Gallery and was the curator of New Zealand's official presentation by Bill Culbert at the 2013 Venice Biennale. He was the editor of New Zealand’s oldest literary journal, Landfall, from 2000 until 2005 and the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellow in 2012. Justin lives in Sydney, Australia, but returns to New Zealand frequently.