Currently on display in museums including the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, Connecticut, the Mead Art Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts, and the Austin Museum of American Art in Austin, Texas, contemporary American artist Graydon Parrish holds a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from the New York Academy of Art, and Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College.
With classical training and a discerning eye for the allegorical, Graydon Parrish acquired extensive recognition for 1999’s “Remorse, Despondence and the Acceptance of an Early Death” and 2002’s “The Cycle of Terror and Tragedy,” two pieces that elucidate on recent struggles within the American psyche. As a student at Amherst, Graydon Parrish pursued various coursework that ultimately actualized as his thesis, the first aforementioned piece.
A reflection upon the widespread crisis of AIDS in America, the piece exhibits a classical precision in its depiction of the human form as well as a string of symbols that evoke a conversation surrounding our coping mechanisms. Graydon Parrish’s painting consists of a group of figures relating in different manners to the deceased body of a child: one weeps, one looks away, one sits in a sullen state, and another gently tugs the corpse away by means of a connected rope.
The artist’s talents for traditional precision integrated with a human sensitivity turned the head of the New Britain Museum of Art, and he accepted the commission proposal that would evolve into his second large-scale allegorical painting. This painting, completed in 2006, measures nearly seven feet tall and showcases cultural suffering on numerous levels; Parrish’s piece speaks to a range of experiences, from the destruction of innocence to the frustration and sorrow that follows.
Currently a resident of Austin, Texas, Graydon Parrish also serves as an Instructor at the Grand Central Academy of Art in New York, New York. He lectures frequently, with past appearances at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in California.