Michael Paraskos is one of the new generation of art critics who are redefining the way we make and see art in the twenty-first century. He is a leading figure in the New Aesthetics movement, an informal grouping of artists and writers who emphasise the physical and material nature of art above its conceptual meaning. In Regeneration Paraskos puts forward an argument for an aesthetic framework for art which does not look back to the academic aesthetics of previous centuries, but is rooted in the physical and material nature of how artists actually make art. By doing this, he suggests, an art theory based on essential nature of art can come into existence, rather than a repetition of futile attempts to discuss art as if it is music, or poetry, or linguistics, or visual politics. Art is art, he suggests, and it does not need to borrow theories from other human activities to justify its existence. But Regeneration is not simply a discussion of art theory. It is a record of a highly personal, and sometimes painful, journey into discovering the true nature of art. Originally intended for private distribution only to trusted friends in the art world, Regeneration offers a rare glimpse into the experiences that lead art theorists and critics to think, say and do the things they do.
Michael Paraskos is a writer, lecturer and curator, and one of a new generation of writers on art associated with the New Aesthetics and anarchist art theory.
He is a regular contributor to newspapers, magazines, radio and television, including journals such as The Spectator, Epoch Times and British Art Journal,and the regular art critic for the London edition of The Epoch Times newspaper. He has reviewed exhibitions for Front Row on BBC Radio 4, and appeared on Ραδιοφωνικό Ίδρυμα Κύπρου, BFBS, BBC Radio Wales, and BBC North and Channel 4 television.
He is the editor of the book Re-Reading Read: New Views on Herbert Read, and author of Steve Whitehead, Regeneration and Is Your Artwork Really Necessary? His most recent book is a major new study of the leading contemporary British realist painter Clive Head (Lund Humphries, 2010), published to coincide with a major exhibition of Head's work at the National Gallery in London.
Michael studied at the School of Fine Art at the University of Leeds, and gained his doctorate researching the aesthetic theories of Herbert Read from the University of Nottingham. He was formerly Head of Art History for Fine Art at the University of Hull.
He has organised conferences at Tate Britain and the Whitechapel, London, and is Director of the Cyprus College of Art, former Research Fellow for Harlow Art Trust, and former Research Fellow at the Henry Moore Institute Leeds. In 2010 he became Director of the Cornaro Institute in Larnaca (Cyprus) and 2011 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
His first job, however, was as an apprentice butcher's boy. Despite his Grandfather being a Master Butcher, this was a short lived experience that turned Michael into a life long vegetarian.
His website is available at http://www.michaelparaskos.net