Speaking to chemical engineer turned contemporary artist Brian Parker
PUBLISHED: 13:24 21 August 2019
Contemporary artist Brian Parker has a traditional outlook which aims to create beautiful images of linear precision with an abundance of colour and proportion. Harri Murrison spoke to him ahead of a landmark London exhibition
Brian Parker's style of intense colour and exacting precision is clear in many of his paintings, no doubt a consequence of his PhD in chemical engineering.
'Both my natural inclination and my training led me to a very analytical approach to painting,' says Brian. 'I see edges and sharp delineations in lighting rather than volumes and I see geometric patterns in everything.
'So I use sharp edges and strong, flat colour to bring out these patterns. My work is not really emotional; my aim is, through simplification and bold colour, to create images that are beautiful. I am a visual artist and I want to appeal to the viewer's visual sensibilities.
'So my work is both traditional and contemporary in that I want to paint beautiful images, but I have something new to say and contribute.'
Following Brian's chance encounter with David Hockney back in the sixties, he has followed Hockney's career with great interest and has found him to be a true inspiration.
This might not necessarily be in the way you expect, but more to do with Hockney's approach to being an artist rather than his style of painting. He didn't follow the money or fashion but applied himself to whatever captured his attention at the time. Brian mirrors this approach as he creates the work for himself.
'I follow my obsessions and hope the world likes what I paint, but I'd do it anyway no matter what the world's reaction is,' Brian explains.
Brian has quite a specific technique where he only uses rulers, pencils and mainly flat brushes. This enables him to produce clean edges when painting.
His love for achieving precision and rich, powerful colour can require two to four coats of paint, meaning that the whole process is relatively slow and a painting can take between six to 12 weeks to complete.
This abstract artist may not yet be on the lips of the art world, but with a series of events throughout 2019, Brian hopes this will culminate in the recognition he is hoping for as an artistic talent.
He is proud to be exhibiting his work at his next solo show at the Royal Opera Arcade (ROA) Gallery, titled The Journey So Far - It's All About Me.
The magnitude of this exhibition is reflected in the incredible amount of planning involved, and it has the potential of making Brian one of the UK's most exciting breakthrough talents.
'I like to bring a little humour or wit into my exhibition titles, which accounts for the It's All About Me part. I don't like to take myself too seriously. With regard to The Journey So Far part, this exhibition is my London launch event and I want to show a good selection from my body of work, and that led to the title.
'I've been painting for 10 years now and I spent the first seven or eight building a local reputation as an artist to watch, but a couple of years ago I decided it was time to move on and try to build my reputation on the London art scene.
'I've participated in a couple of art fairs and a good number of group shows and open call competitions, including The Sunday Times watercolour competition and It's Art Call 2018 at the After Nyne gallery.'
Together with the day-to-day themes of home life and work, Brian's fast approaching exhibition will offer gallery goers a unique, immersive experience, and one which should not be missed.
Find out more
Brian's artwork will be showing from October 7 until October 12 at the Royal Opera Arcade (ROA) Gallery, London