Anthony J Parke is a UK based artist from a Persian, English, Indian, Irish background. He found his way into painting via conceptual sculpture having studied at Kingston Polytechnic for two years before finalising his studies in Philosophy. Many of the themes he deals with revolve around the complexity of the human condition, as well as aspects of identity, culture, memory and personal history.
He initially began with highly symbolic ventures into figurative art, and slowly over the years, has chosen to lessen his authorial voice in exchange for allowing his paintings a space to have their own voice. He regards his practice as an act of personal exploration and growth and for this reason he tends to work in cycles or series’ of paintings to allow for shifts.
Anthony has held a solo exhibition at Catto Gallery in London and has exhibited extensively over the years. His exploration in the detailed field of miniature portrait art garnered several awards from the Royal Society of Miniatures. His portrait of friend and esteemed British art critic, historian and poet, Edward Lucie-Smith received much coverage before finding its home with a collector in Hong Kong. Many of his works are held in private collections in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Russia and Europe.
In my latest series I create figurative landscapes which hint towards a place of disequilibrium. I populate each canvas with spectral figures, ethereal vignettes of semi-absent figures which drift in and out of realism and abstraction. Here I look to disrupt reality, but in doing so attempt to get closer to reality. I look to explore an emotional connection between the viewer and subject, for the viewer toponderthe process of filling the figurative void.
These figures are taken from magazines, newspapers and personal photos. They involve a process of erasure and removal, creating distortion and ambiguity between the figurative and the abstract. I explore the space in between, the inchoate moments of empty space, the missing form in the composition, and ultimately the emotional ambiguity that arises from it.
I’m also interested in the reduction of a physical presence, and how far that reduction can be pushed without losing a sense of a physical presence. Alongside this process, I'm looking to create a heightened sense of a reality which on some levels disturbs and disrupts.
Ultimately, these paintings have no explicit meaning, rather they are a set of images existing in their own non-determined, semi-abstract, highly ambiguous worlds... worlds which seek to create an interaction and connection with the viewer in a way which provokes thought and stimulates the senses.