Through imagery, technique and suggestion, Darren Parker invites narratives, rather than dictates them. His compositions have no predetermined plan or ideal vision; they are allowed to be formed and modified during the process until the composition is right. The work operates like a collage, without having made a collage before painting begins. Everything is determined through the process of painting.
Parker expresses his interest in film through his work. Each painting is a stage set, building setting, characters and props in order to create a scene whilst introducing an element of the theatrical.
Parker’s imagery invites the viewer to connect with the scene; a painting of a horse can reference majesty, elegance or classical art, but juxtaposed with a man in a gas mask, its meaning is altered, its purpose uncertain. Uncertainty encourages the viewer to reconsider what they first accepted as a believable scene.
Playing on familiarity and what is acceptable, and re-presenting in a new condition, Parker enhances realities and interlocks themes in each painting. His scenes are viewed from a photographic perspective, so the artist incorporates his own energy and expression in order to breathe life into these freeze- frame moments.
Parker’s portraiture explores the psychological and emotional state of mind we strive to mask. In an age where social media is perceived as an accurate representation of reality, Parker looks beneath people’s projection of themselves to unveil and exploit what is not being publicised. An example of this is through a Facebook status update, where a user will only share what is deemed as positive in their lives, such as moving into a new home, with no mention of any negativity that may be relevant, like an eviction from their previous property that may have forced their hand. It is these concealed stories and emotions that Darren Parker is interested in, as he unearths and exploits what we try to gloss over, channelling elements of Jean Baudrillard’s theories of the hyper-real and commenting on what we perceive to be reality and what is merely a façade.