Michael Parkes is an American painter, printmaker and sculptor now based in Spain.
Parkes takes inspiration in his affection for a variety of artistic sensibilities, from Renaissance portraits to 19th century academic and Orientalist painters, Symbolists like Gustav Klimt, Art Nouveau posters, Golden Age children’s book illustrators — particularly Maxfield Parrish — and classic pin-up and “good girl” illustration.
Parkes combines these in his fantasy infused blend of Magic Realism, focused largely on young women and animals in often elaborate poses.
I don’t know that he directly accepts illustration commissions, but his work has been used for a number of science fiction and fantasy covers.
Parkes studied graphic art and printmaking at the University of Kansas, carrying forward his interest in stone lithography into his current range of color stone lithographs requiring multiple stones for each impression.
His work is widely available in a variety of reproductions, which makes the official website a bit confusing, and to my mind devalues his stone lithographs by including them amid giclées and commercially printed reproductions; though you can find them grouped with original painting drawing and sulpture on this page.
The michaelparks.com URL points to Steltman Galleries which also has an extensive selection of his work. I’ve listed other galleries below.
[Note: a number of the images on the linked sites should be considered NSFW.]
7 Replies to “Michael Parkes”
Beautiful. You know James Christensen’s work Charley? When I was a student of his I discovered Parkes’s work. I was all up in arms about some of his figures. They looked like they had been lifted directly from James’s work. He pretty much just shrugged it off when I was screaming for legal action. Ah the fury of youth.
It’s been a while since I looked at Christensen’s work: http://linesandcolors.com/2010/08/25/james-c-christensen/ and I didn’t immediately make the connection. I can certainly see it now. Thanks, Bill.
I didn’t know you were a student of Christensen’s. You picked up good influences without any overt emulation. (For the benefit of other readers, see my posts on Bill Carman.)
Yeah, it was hard not to see the world in a certain way after studying with James. And with Parkes, I was just trying to get him to pick a fight. There were a couple of those little layered clothes figures that were close to being cut out and dropped in. Anyway, James raised and eyebrow but that was all. My book is coming out in August Charles. I’ll get you a copy.
Wow. Looking forward to your book! Please do send me a copy; I’ll post a review.
Hi – I’m a newbie here. I noticed the strong “influence” of some of Christensen’s characters too. I’m curious, do you know if anyone has asked Parkes about it?
I don’t know. It seems likely, but if it was done in a published interview, I haven’t seen it.
Thanks. If I find anything I’ll put a link here.
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