“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.”
Art Historian and Critic
In his new series of paintings, Anthony J. Parké observes a personal history, culture and identity through a magical lens of his own making. He treats painting as a transformative act of discovery, reflection and connection, often referencing his own complex background generated from a multitude of inherited cultures: English, Indian, Irish and Persian.
In his new series called Fragments, he reflects on a world populated with references to race, culture, identity, interspersed with childhood memories and recollections. He unites elements of Eastern and Western traditions in a landscape which depicts a sense of ‘otherness’. Here he weaves together a multitude of seemingly unrelated objects within a somewhat surreal, often disjointed world. Images like floating sewing machines, temples, teapots, antique furnishings, elephants, damask curtains, spinning tops and fighting kites, all appear throughout his works. In some sense these everyday images seem emblematic of the multiple cultures he has inherited, as well as the faded recollections of a distant childhood.
His paintings are notably populated with spectral figures, half-forgotten memories and distant dreams. These ethereal vignettes of semi-absent figures drift in and out of reality and abstraction. The partial absence of these amorphous figures propel both himself, and the audience, towards populating the void; as such, these paintings encourage the viewer to question their own relationship to the imagery.
The spiral staircase, which seems ubiquitous throughout his paintings, both past and present works, seem reminiscent of Piranesian dreamscapes. There is a fascination for journey and transformation in this imagery. The helical staircase seems to act like a metaphor for the indecipherable complexities of his mixed cultural heritage. Perhaps this imagery subtly refers to the act of unravelling the impossible, trying to decode the undecodable nature of a multi-layered existence. Importantly, the staircase additionally embraces the notion of the transcendent self… a spiritual element which references something beyond the componentary elements of a life.
SELECTED PAST EXHIBITIONS
2022 - Ascension, Zari Gallery, London
2022 - Manchester Art Fair
2022 - Black History Month, Zari Gallery, London, UK
2021 - Figurative Art Now, Mall Galleries,
2019 - Mall Galleries, Royal Society of Miniatures, UK
2019 - Hanbury Manor Estate, Hertfordshire, UK
2019 - Brocket Hall Estate, Welwyn Garden City, UK
2019 - The Saffron Walden Gallery,UK
2019 - Westcliffe Gallery, Norfolk, UK
2019 - Courtyard Arts, Hertfordshire, UK
2018 - The original Gallery, London
2018 - All Saints Church, (special selection)
2018 - Stoke Newington, Islington Arts Society
2017 - Mall Galleries, Royal Society of Miniatures
2017 - Hertford Society Members Exhibition, UK
2017 - Hertford Society Open Exhibition, UK
2016 - Bell Fine Art/ Affordable Art Fair, Batterse
2016 - Catto Gallery, Stock show, London, UK
2016 - Bell Fine Art - Winchester, UK
2015 - Saffron Walden Gallery - Summer Exhibition. London, UK
2015 - Catto Gallery - Easter Exhibition London, UK
2015 - Catto Gallery - Window of Opportunity - London, UK
2014 - Catto Gallery - Summer Show - London, UK
2014 - Summer Salon, IAF, Islington, London
2014 - Catto Gallery - Solo show - London, UK
2014 - Beaux Arts Bath, Affordable Art Fair, Battersea
2014 - Catto Gallery Mixed Show, Hampstead London UK
2014 - The Gallery, Stoke Newington, London UK
2013 - Cork Street Open exhibition - Shortlisted
2013 - Arthaus Gallery, Hertfordshire UK
2013 - The Arches Gallery, East London UK
2013 - Courtyard Arts, Hertfordshire, UK
2013 - The Gallery, Stoke Newington, London UK
2013 - East Finchley Open House, London UK
2013 - Emporium, Muswell Hill, London UK
2013 - Crocodile Gallery Space, London UK
2013 - East Finchley Festival, London UK UK
2013 - Phoenix, London UK
2013 - Casa Pepe, London UK
2013 - The Village, London UK
2013 - Emporium, Muswell Hill, London 2nd-9th August
2013 - Collett School, Hemel Hempstead UK
2012 - Courtyard Arts Open, Herts UK
2012 - Chocolate Factory Open Studios, London
Anthony J Parké works in the field of figurative symbolism. His work is noted for its depth of meaning and detail of execution. He took his Honours Degree in Fine Art at Kingston University, shifting his final year to Philosophy. He later completed his Masters Degree in Literature, focusing on the archetypal imagery in the poetry of Algernon Charles Swinburne.
He was interviewed by Britain's 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, the US, Canada, Israel, Hong Kong, and across Europe.
2022 - Coming... Masters: 50 Figurative Artist2022 - The Guide Artists Magazine
2022 - The Art Market Magazine
2020 - Elizabeth Barden 'Artrist's Can...'
2018 - Islington Journal October 28th
2018 - Islington Gazette, October 25th
2018 - The Guide Artists Magazine, Featured Artist
2018 - Equilibrium Magazine, Spring Issue 63
2014 - Book: Into the Glass: Hyperreal Paintings of Anthony J. Parké, Foreword: Edward Lucie-Smith
2014 - Camden New Journal, May 15, No.1661
2014 - Catto Gallery Catalogue - Solo Show 2014
2014 - Cork Street Open Catalogue, 2014
2013 - Book: East Finchley Open Arts 10th Anniversary
2013 - Equilibrium Magazine, Spring Issue 46
2011 - Equilibrium Magazine, Winter Issue 48
Interviewed by Art Historian Edward Lucie-Smith
Royal Society of Miniatures, Connoisseur Commendation Award, 2019
Islington Arts Society Annual Exbition Peoples Choice Award
Royal Society of Miniatures, Gold Memorial Bowl, Honourable Mention 2017
Courtyard Arts Open, Herts, Highly Commended 2017
Hertford Socierty Open Exhibition, Peoples Choice, runner up, 2016
2012 - St Martins School of Art, Advanced Anatomical Drawing
1999 - Masters Degree – Eng. Lit.
1993-1997 - Honours Degree – Fine art/ Philosophy (Kingston Polytechnic/O.U)
1989-1991 - Fine Art Foundation Diploma,
2016 - Guest Speaker: Art Business Success Summit, London.
2013 - Collett School, Hemel Hempstead UK
2013 - Coleridge School, London UK