Friday, May 16, 2014

Jan Parker Illustrates Witchcraft and Black Magic

I picked up a paperback today that promptly fell apart in my hands. It's a 1971 Hamlyn paperback by Peter Haining called, "Witchcraft and Black Magic". Haining somewhat blotted his copybook with non-fiction works with his two books on Sweeney Todd and Springheel Jack, which is a shame because he was a very competent author even if, in this instance, the text is simply journalistic. But it wasn't the text that drew me most but the illustrations. They are by Jan Parker and have a brilliant mixture of Bosch and Dali and Munch... and so much else. And the book is packed with them: this is only a small selection. Parker doesn't appear in my reference books about twentieth century illustration so I'm unable to provide much more information about him or her.


Anonymous said...

Here's what I found on a forum thread devoted to Peter Haining:
"Jan Parker was born in 1941 in Southport, England, to an English father and a Danish mother. His parents encouraged him to draw and visit the art museums of London in hopes that the works of the Great Masters would inspire him to develop his inherited artistic ability (Both his great, great grandfather and another relation are well-known Danish artists).

While studying at the Willesden School of Art in London, he was introduced to the work of the French Impressionists... During this time Jan was devoting more time to drawings and cartoons, since he was actually making a living by selling them to several European newspapers. This eventually led him to book illustration...

Jan was commissioned to illustrate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s book The First Circle as well as the world’s first full-color paperback book, Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece. Film director Stanley Kubrick asked Jan to record, through paintings and drawings, the production of his classic science fiction movie 2001: A Space Odyssey..."

(Information from Lahaina Galleries)

He now lives in Hawaii and "devotes himself entirely to painting".
Jean-Daniel Brèque

Odyzeus! said...

Alexandre Fernandes said...

Here's an interview:

Anonymous said...

My dad looks back at those drawings with a bit of regret he actually became quite ill drawing those images

Ashton said...

If your father really is jan parker, where could i get the go ahead to use these as album covers for my musical group? Been a fan of his work. The occult imagery and mystery goes so well with the atmosphere of the songs i write. Id appreciate it and am being totally serious.

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