Monday, 19 May 2014

Local Artist Shows Paintings at Catto Gallery

Local artist Anthony J. Parkés’ hyperrealistic still life paintings are to be exhibited at Catto Gallery situated in the beautiful, leafy village of Hampstead.

Anthony J. Parké lives in Highgate with a studio in Muswell Hill. His skill lies in his ability to create stunningly detailed oil paintings of fruit and other organic materials, whilst also capturing the extraordinary striations of glass vessels which hold these objects. These paintings can often look like photographs such is the level of detail, and as a result each painting can take on average 60-100 hours to complete. 

Anthony J. Parkés’ series of oil paintings entitled “Beauty & Preservation” was excepted by Catto after a meeting with the three gallery directors. Regarding his show with Catto, Parké stated “I am deeply gratified to have this opportunity; Catto is one of the most prestigious galleries in London and for them to recognise the value of my work is a wonderful acknowledgement of the time and effort I’ve put into my art practice over the years.”

The stillness and peacefulness of Anthony J. Parkés’ paintings belies a highly disrupted period in his childhood which continually inform fundamental aspects of his work.

Parkés’ love of natural objects began in his early childhood where he foraged the overgrown lands of an abandoned railway at the back of the family home. There he found his love for all things natural. But in this same period he grew up with a very ill brother. His brother broke all things related to glass. Parké says, “The aquarium was an ideal for the family, something peaceful and beautiful, and when my brother exploded it‘s glass façade, I learnt as an eight year old how ephemeral beauty could be. Within the gushing waters I saw an array of fish and shattered glass fuse into an image of beauty and destruction.” 

These images of beauty beside destruction have haunted Anthony ever since, in particular their relationship to glass. Anthony says, “While such incidences of smashing glass are a thing of the past, glass appears in all my paintings, its meaning now inverted. Now the glass is reconstructed into an ideal state, as something whole and beautiful. The glass is a metaphorical means of capturing and preserving natural beauty, similar to the way the  specimen jars at the Natural History Museum preserve organisms. It’s as though I’m trying to put back together all the broken pieces of my early childhood, and make something beautiful and whole once more which can never be lost.”

The main gallery at Catto also has a lower gallery called Catto Below. Anthony’s’ exhibition of 18 paintings will take place there and the show will run from May 11th-31st, 2014. Catto  has grown to become one of the finest art galleries in London; for this reason Anthony is delighted to be on board. he says, “I can only hope that the exhibition goes well, that many people attend and get to see and enjoy my paintings, and that the overall response is good.” 

For more information visit Catto Gallery is situated on 100 Heath Street, London, NW3 1DP.

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