Friday, April 02, 2010

Arty Farty Friday ~ More on Michael Parkes

He's an interesting artist whose birth date had, at the time of my first post about him 2 years ago, escaped my beady eye: Michael Parkes. A commenter, a few days ago, kindly left me information that Michael Parke's birth data is as follows: 12 October 1944 in southern Missouri.

I'd never heard of this fine artist until we visited the home of my husband's younger daughter in Austin. She had a number of large Parkes prints in her apartment. Coincidentally, her birthday is the day before my own in late January, different year of course. I discovered that she has a liking for the magical, surreal yet realistic/representative style, which I share. I think Michael Parke's genre is known formally as Magic Realism.

In his style I see echoes of Magritte, Dali, Maxfield Parrish, oddly Alberto Vargas and the English Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood - strange bedfellows! All are great favourites of mine - yet Michael Parkes brings something else, something quite unique into the mix.

I had previously suspected that Mr. Parkes had deliberately kept his birth data secret. He is of the hippie generation, no doubt aware of astrology and maybe unwilling to share his details. However, since someone has information, perhaps from a biography, I guess it would not be too intrusive to take a brief look at his chart. He and his wife have travelled widely in the East, and Europe. They lived in India for a time, and now in Spain.

From Wikipedia:
"He studied the esoteric doctrines of the East and the West, and his imagery is drawn from a range of traditions 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, and in this weightless environment worlds are unmade and remade nearer to the heart's desire."

His chart is shown below, using the information provided, set for 12 noon and for Springfield, which is in southern Missouri but perhaps isn't his exact birthplace. Rising sign and Moon degree will not be accurate - unless, by rare coincidence, Mr Parkes was born at 12 noon in Springfield!

Sun, Mercury, Neptune and Mars all in Libra, a sign ruled by Venus, planet of the arts - a good foundation for a painter, especially with imaginative Neptune included. Uranus at 12 Gemini is in harmonious trine to the Sun/Mercury/Neptune trio, adding the dash of quirk, often leaning towards eccentricity, an element quite obvious in many of Mr. Parkes' paintings. There is esoteric symbolism there though, so what is superficially eccentric could turn out to be deeply meaningful.

What I noticed almost at once is a chain of semi-sextiles:
start at Uranus 12 Gemini > Saturn 10 Cancer > Pluto 10 Leo > Jupiter 16 Virgo > Mercury 13/Sun 19 Libra > Venus 17 Scorpio. Semi-sextile is a link of around 30 degrees between planets in adjacent signs. Adjacent signs almost always represent conflicting traits (think of shy sensitive Cancer versus outgoing show-bizzy Leo). When I see a chain like this one, which also holds within it helpful sextiles and trines (60* and 120*) I see it as a kind of soothing and bonding of conflict to form a comfortable whole. In other words an indication of an exceptionally well-integrated personality.

Without knowing his time of birth it's not possible to calculate rising sign or exact Moon degree. Moon could be in either Leo (if born before 2pm) or Virgo (if born 2pm or later). Mr. Parkes' style has more than a hint of theatrics, circus and fun about it, so Leo would be a good fit. Virgo Moon - hmm not so much - yet could easily relate to the discerning elegance and beutiful detail evident in his work.

This YouTube presentation features an interview with Michael Parkes who discusses a new painting of Venus, and talks about cosmic symbolism - I found this fascinating.
Don't forget that planet Venus rules his Sun and Libra cluster!

There's another video, "Homage to Michael Parkes" at YouTube, featuring many more of his paintings.

Elsewhere there's information at Mr Parkes' own website, and further illustration of his work HERE and HERE , or via Google Image.









Wisewebwoman said...

Don't you just love his stuff? Amazingly complex and beautiful.
Catching up on blogland, busy working hard this week!

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Yes, I'm surprised his work isn't better known internationally. Maybe it is, and I'm just not in the loop. It's some of the most beautiful painting I've seen though... and the subject matter intriguing enough to hold the attention.

Had been thinking you might be busy busy busy - tax time and all that. :-)

anyjazz said...

Thanks for reminding me of this artist.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~~~ :-) Always a pleasure to look at his work.

Dunyazade said...

Amazing stuff!

I wish he would do a tarot deck!!!!!!!!!!

Twilight said...

Dunyazade ~~ Oh my! Wouldn't that be something?!

Anonymous said...

I deeply admire his work! Met him twice over the years, at Steltman and CFM gallery in NY. Great artist and wonderful man! Egon, JKK Fine Arts

Twilight said...

JKK Fine Arts - That's good to know, Egon, and confirms the feeling I get from what I know of him. Many thanks for stopping by and commenting.