Michael Parkes (Born 1944) is an American artist born in Sikeston, Missouri, and currently living in Spain. His artistic style is magic realism and fantasy. Parkes is a painter, sculptor and a stone lithographer. He went to University of Kansas located in Lawrence where he studied painting and graphic art. After completing his study, Parkes taught at the University of Florida and Kent State University. Even during the time he was teaching, he was still focused on making art professionally. After getting married, they traveled to different countries in Europe before proceeding to India, Pakistan, and Nepal. While in India, he took a short course in philosophy and the esoteric doctrines of the East and the West, a study that influenced his style of art. He pegs his imagery on the tantric and the cabalistic wisdoms and adds his own fantasies and to come up with simple but unusual pieces.
In 1975, Parkes settled in Spain to make his own art. Although he was earlier on influenced by abstract expressionist style as he was taught by his teachers, he edged towards representation style that enabled him to express his imaginations more accurately. He uses oil paints as his medium and makes most of his paintings on canvas. His works have been published through self printed calendars and in his 9 books. His artwork was first widely exhibited 1977 by Steltman Galleries in different places including Basel Art in Switzerland, Art Chicago and Art Fair NY. He has created a lot of lithographs and sculptures that have also been distributed by Steltman Galleries. So far, he has made more than 70 high quality lithographs.
"Take the symbolism for what it is. It is not important to understand or even agree with the symbols I use. What I do want is to offer my art to people to enjoy and enhance their lives with the beauty of color and light."