Robert Parker • painting
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Robert Parker's Biography

The visual arts are forms of nonverbal communication, a language in which the artist communicates an idea. The use of visual language to express an idea will be different than an idea expressed verbally, and the two cannot easily be compared because of real differences in the context of the information communicated and because each uses different mediums.

For the artist, the codifying of ideas into a visual language offers meaning on a number of levels; some ideas can be described verbally, while others can only be appreciated at an emotional or visual level for the artist and viewer. It is the development of a visual language that continues to inform my work, as I challenge established boundaries, change directions in how ideas are represented, and strive for clarity.

The quest for new interpretations is one reason why art is never static for me, or wedded to a stylistic formula. This is one way in which my work may be distinguished from other artists. If asked about changing directions, my response to that question is that all of my work forms a continuum, in which previous works are linked to the next by the sub-conscious memory of an idea. It is memory that informs the next piece of work.

Although I acknowledge the limitations of a verbal description of my work, some description may helpful. Pattern making is how I see relationships in both the natural and human world. Patterns of light and shadow, often seen as flat, sharp edged aspects of the landscape, present themselves as organizing statements in my work. In representing a landscape, however abstract, through brush strokes, print making tools, the camera lens, or sculptural mediums, the defining edge between one pattern and color and another is as much a result of changes in light pattern as it is my own expressive style. All of my work is derivative of a reductionist approach - the experience of synthesizing light and color.

In architecture, which I also practice, design results in a three-dimensional form with the interplay of light and shadow, patterns of solids and voids, lines and color. Sometimes my architectural work informs feelings in a painting, print, photograph, or sculpture and conversely, these works may also inform my architecture.

Philosophically, the way in which I come to understand and achieve growth in my personal and professional life is through the observation of the natural environment and the challenge to live in harmony with the natural world. It provides an ability to develop personal values, express our selves visually, and hopefully, allow us to tread lightly upon the landscape. Whether through painting, printmaking, sculpture or architecture, my own values are manifest in an abstract visual language. It is my way of stating spiritual and environmental concerns for our world.

Robert Parker,
Taos, New Mexico
June 2010