Jeanne d'Arc 2003
- About the artist
Michael Parkes is the world's leading magical realist painter, sculptor, and stone lithographer. His decades of success as a fine artist stand out in the art world where few artists ever achieve success in both the primary and secondary markets. Michael Parkes' works are collected by celebrities, prominent private collectors, and galleries around the world, and his body of work stands for all ages. His first one-man show was in Amsterdam back in 1977. Additional one-man exhibitions of Michael Parkes have taken place at Basel Art in Switzerland, Art Chicago, Art Fair NY, Frankfurt Bookfair, Amsterdam Art Fair, Tefaf Art and Antiques Fair Maastricht and numerous exhibitions in their galleries in Amsterdam and New York from 1977 onwards.
Though he studied graphic art and painting at the University of Kansas, his unique style evolved very much in isolation, after a period in which he gave up the practice of art altogether and went off to India in search of philosophical illumination: born in 1944, Michael Parkes was very much of the hippie generation.
Earlier on, Michael Parkes had painted in the generally Abstract Expressionist style normal among his teachers, but after his pause for reflection he began to draw and paint in a meticulous style of detailed representation which would enable him to give full expression to his inner world of images. The style was in principle realistic, the subject matter magical, and Magic Realism has characterised his work ever since.
Michael Parkes has studied deeply in esoteric doctrine of the East and the West, and his imagery is drawn from a range of wisdoms including the Cabalistic and the Tantric, but embodied in forms from his own imagination which are immediately accessible. Here strange beasts encounter mysterious winged women, good and evil fight out their immemorial conflict (though who can be perfectly sure which is which?), and in this weightless environment worlds are unmade and remade nearer to the heart's desire.
Even as a student Michael Parkes was fascinated by various graphic processes, and in recent years Michael Parkes has become highly proficient in the difficult medium of the colour stone lithograph.