Art Historian and Critic
“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 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.
Britain's eminent art historian and critic, Edward Lucie-Smith, once wrote of his works as “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.” Prophetically, these very same sentiments by Lucie-Smith still hold today in his current works.
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. His works are also held in private collections across the UK, as well as with international collectors in Russia, the US, Canada, Israel, Hong Kong, and across Europe.
In his current series of paintings called Fragments, Anthony observes a personal history, culture and identity through a unique lens; he treats painting as a transformative act of discovery and connection, often referencing his own cultural tapestry of English, Indian, Irish and Persian heritage.
In his latest series he unites elements of Eastern and Western traditions in a landscape that depicts a sense of ‘otherness’. He weaves together a multitude of seemingly unrelated objects into a surreal, often disjointed world. Images like floating sewing machines, temples, teapots, and elephants, damask curtains, spinning tops and fighting kites, all appear throughout his paintings. In some sense these objects seem emblematic of the multiple cultures he has inherited, as well as the faded recollections of a distant past.
Notably, his paintings are populated with spectral figures. These ethereal vignettes of semi-absent figures drift in and out of reality and abstraction. The partial absence of these amorphous figures propels both himself, and the audience, towards populating the void.
The spiral staircase, which frequently appears throughout his paintings both past and present, seem reminiscent of Piranesian dreamscapes. There is a fascination for journey and transformation in this imagery. The spiral staircase acts as a metaphor for the indecipherable complexities of a mixed heritage, whilst simultaneously embracing the notion of the transcendent self, beyond the componentry elements of his life.