Meet the Artist
Ray Allen Parker
I believe in heroic paintings — larger-than-life works that explore the human face and figure. I want my portraits to be bold but intimate, 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.
What these portraits can do, I hope, is create a desire to look more closely. The paintings ask us to look beneath the surface of appearances, to peer into the faces of others and experience a panoply of shared and sometimes conflicting emotions and sensations. In this way, my portraits reward our slow looking. I want my works to demand and hold our attention, to reveal new insights about who we are, to connect us to others and to our all-too-human selves.
Ray Allen Parker is an artist, currently living and working in Fayetteville. Originally from Egypt, Arkansas, he received a B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Arkansas, where he took his first painting class. Following a three-decade career in retail communications and advertising, he returned to his lifelong interest in portrait and figure painting.