John Ensor Parker’s art embodies the best of what new media has to offer—social awareness, cutting-edge technology and skilled execution. His mediums range from aluminum painting to light art and data visualization; Ruth Grover notes, “What is remarkable about Parker’s work is its strength of voice and lucidity, clearness of thought and style, and capacity to be perceived directly .” Of his work, Parker says, “to be honest, I have always steered away from writing an artist statement – but I basically attempt to bridge the arts and sciences. Many years back during the Renaissance, the arts and sciences were separated by educational institutions. However, they are both observations of the same reality .”
Driven to understand how the world works, Parker imbues a sense of deeper purpose into his work that manifests in the social constructs of his individual projects.
Initially a philosophy major, Parker realized he was merely “learning the ideas of old white men ” and turned instead to the natural sciences, notably mechanical engineering. The major included numerous areas of study of interest to Parker, including mathematics, physics, electrical, statics, dynamics, chemistry and others. While working as a mechanical engineer at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida, he decided to leave for New York and focus full-time on art.
The combination of art and science proved to be a defining aspect of Parker’s studies, and according to Rose Burlingham, his inspirations range from “the cave paintings of Lascaux to the subdued grays of Brice Marden and Jasper Johns .” He says; “I use scientific principles to develop my philosophies and to help understand all components of the world – this includes culture and human behavior. Much of my work includes sciences, but that’s not the basis – it’s really to look at our world from multi perspectives .”
, , : Personal email correspondence with artist