Voices of the Delta: Ray Allen Parker

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Delta 60, Delta Exhibition, Exhibitions, Museum, Voices of the Delta


Ray Allen Parker, Post Punk, 2017, oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches

I believe in heroic paintings. I create large-scale works, often in resonant pairs or series, that explore the human figure and faces of friends, family and fellow artists, who are typically my subjects. I want my paintings to be bold but intimate, naturalistic but expressive, dense but revealing. I try to recreate my subjects, not just depict them, in a convincing, painterly way that simultaneously renders paint both as arresting mark and as flesh. Like the painters who have most deeply influenced me — Lucian Freud, Jenny Saville, Odd Nerdrum — I want the painting to feel like the person. Of course, this can never fully happen. Ultimately, the hope for each new painting springs from the failure of the last.

– Ray Allen Parker

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