“Anthony J. Parké's paintings... are entirely convincing representations of things that we could never in fact encounter in the same form in what we are pleased to describe as real life. They are visionary art – humbler cousins of compositions such as Salvador Dali’s famous Christ of St. John of the Cross.”
Anthony J Parké is a leading practitioner within the genre of psychological figurative symbolism. His work stands out for its depth of meaning, as well as the high level of detailed execution. He took his Honours Degree in Fine Art at Kingston University, finalising this period of study in Philosophy. He went on to complete his Masters Degree in Literature, focusing on the archetypal imagery in the poetry of Algernon Charles Swinburne. He was interviewed by Britain's most eminent art historian and critic, Edward Lucie-Smith, who would go on to write the foreword to his book, Into the Glass.
Edward Lucie-Smith wrote of his paintings: “Anthony J. Parké's paintings... are entirely convincing representations of things that we could never in fact encounter in the same form in what we are pleased to describe as real life. They are visionary art – humbler cousins of compositions such as Salvador Dali’s famous Christ of St. John of the Cross.”
Anthony's work is held in the private collection of Gabi Tolkowsky, the world’s most eminent diamond cutter, who cut the Centenary Diamond and the Golden Jubilee Diamond. He has received several awards, most notably from the Royal Society of Miniatures: a Connoisseur Commendation Award in 2019, and a Gold Memorial Bowl Honourable Mention in 2017.
His works are held in private collections across the UK, as well as with international collectors in Russia, America, Canada, Israel, Hong Kong, and across Europe.
The overriding theme throughout my work is transformation. Akin to the alchemical desire to transform baser metals into higher metals, I seek a transformation within my protagonists from lower spiritual states, to higher ones. The aim is to peer into the subconscious of my protagonists using a personal and universal language of symbolism, and find their means to rise in the face of sufferance. In this sense they are wholly positive, spiritual works seeking ascension.
My work reflects on the human condition, peering into the subconscious of my protagonists using a personal and universal language of symbolism. Throughout my formative years I was inescapably immersed in a familial environment where a sibling’s insanity filled the house. In that environment there was always a sense of entrapment, or a desire to escape, or transform. I effectively watched an elder brother transform from a state of happiness, to a state of horror.
As a result, I’m constantly drawn to the strange and extraordinary anomalies and traits of the human experience with equal amounts of fascination and fear. When I seek a transformation to a higher state for my protagonists, I'm vicariously seeking to transform my brother from his malignant psychic state to a place of transcendence.
From this background I look to the fragile and suffering heroes/ heroines of the imagination. Variations perhaps on the 'St Sebastians', or the 'Joan of Arcs' of history. I marvel at the psyches skirting ‘Lynchian’ picket fences, ‘Polanskian’ apartments, or the searching souls in Tarkovsky’s cinemascapes. My interest is perhaps more akin to Théodore Gericault’s paintings of, ‘A Kleptomaniac’, or, ‘A Woman Suffering from Obsessive Envy’, for their documenting of the psychological discomfort of individuals.