Parker S. Jackson’s Unsettling, Humorous Portraits

by Andy SmithPosted on

Parker S. Jackson says he tries to strike a balance between “uncanny and realism” in his portraits, which carry notes of both humor and dark art. One of the artist’s greatest strengths is in his ability to create varying, perplexing textures with both digital and traditional materials. He says he tries to “capture the same ‘wow’ factor that I had seeing H.R. Giger’s Alien for the first time.” We asked the artist about his influences, which he says range from centuries-old work to contemporary pop culture.

“I’ve always been inspired by the look of renaissance portraits and it has informed a great deal of how I handle my work, both in mood and lighting and in poses,” the artist tells us. “Lately i’ve been very inspired by even earlier medieval and early renaissance artwork. Going back and looking through the work of people like Francois Desprez, Bosch, and a variety of other random medieval paintings and illuminated texts has really done a lot to try to push myself in terms of creativity.

“There’s something about these older paintings that is SO far removed from our current time that the symbolism, the depictions of certain clothing and items and animals looks so entirely foreign that it’s almost like getting a glimpse at some kind of alien civilization or something,” he continues. “So that’s what I’ve really been trying to replicate lately, it’s that inspiration of medieval and renaissance art through the lens of someone who was raised on cartoons and 80’s sci fi and horror movies.”