Log In   ·   Become A Member
http://www.hamptons.com/gallery/ads/2306.gif

INTERVIEW: Artist Mickey Paraskevas On His 40 Year Hamptons Retrospective And More

T.J. Clemente

Paint Your World - a 40-Year Retrospective of the Work of Michael Paraskevas will be on view through November 10th. (Courtesy Photo)

Hamptons.com recently had the opportunity to chat with famed illustrator and long-time children's book author Mickey Paraskevas about his upcoming 40 years retrospective exhibit opening September 20th at the Southampton Arts Center and about his life story. He's worked for many major magazines including, Sports Illustrated, Time, Town & Country, New York Magazine and Rolling Stone, to name but a few.

Paraskevas is colorful, expressive and full of an enthusiasm Walt Disney would understand.

When I asked Paraskevas when did he first know he had a gift for the arts, he replied he was born and raised in Roselle Park, New Jersey, and "around 11-years-old, we [Paraskevas' family] were in a local arts supply store and I picked up a sketchbook and said to him [Paraskevas' dad], 'Will you buy this for me?' I never asked my father for anything but I wanted this blue covered sketchbook. He said, 'What do you want this for?' And, I again said, 'Will you buy this for me?' It said right on the cover, My Sketch Book...and I still have it. It was then that I started drawing and keeping them right there in that book."

Paraskevas has worked for many major publications. (Courtesy Photo)

Then, he explained, "From then on I really liked drawing. I didn't want to do anything else."

Following up, I asked Paraskevas who was his early mentor who helped encourage him instead of discourage his start into the art world? He replied, "I worked with my mother for years, but other than my mother, by the time I was twenty I had a teacher named Marshall Arisnan. One day he said, 'You really have a lot of talent, you're really good and I think you can have a life as an artist."

Paraskevas illustrated and wrote 23 children's books over the years with his mother, Betty. The two went on to create and write the animated television series Maggie and the Ferocious Beast for Nickelodeon. Two of their other books were also made into animated series: Marvin the Tap-Dancing Horse for PBS and The Kids from Room 402 for Fox Family. Betty passed away in 2010 and Mickey continues to work on animated projects for a variety of companies. He said, "My mom always believed in me."

I asked about his first introduction to Southampton? Paraskevas chuckled and then told the story of his folks buying a place in Shinnecock Hills when he was 18-years-old and of him driving out to the beach his first day there. "I said to myself, I was by myself and I said, 'I really don't want to leave!' I then said to my mother, 'I want to stay here, I don't want to have to go back to New Jersey, I want to stay here' and I did stay," he shared.

Concerning the upcoming exhibit, Paraskevas said he is nervous, "About fitting it all in, fitting everything I wanted to use for the show. I think I needed one more room, maybe two but I do have four wonderful, big rooms to fill and I'll manage."

Paraskevas works in a variety of mediums. (Courtesy Photo)

I asked Paraskevas what is the one exhibit he is most excited about and his answer was instantaneous, "The giant 12-foot inflatable Ferocious Beast! It's spectacular!"

It has been reported that Paraskevas works in acrylic, oil, watercolor or whatever the mood suits him at the moment. He also works digitally, since the demands of the current illustration market requires quickness and the ability to change things at the last minute and is always working on something. He is currently writing and drawing a weekly comic, The Green Monkeys for Dan's Papers. He is also writing and drawing Lili and Derek, a collection of daily comics, with his wife Maria.

Paraskevas said, "My wife is the most wonderful person in the world. I used to work with my mom, we did 23 kid's books together, but now I work with my wife, Maria. We have known each other for twenty years and got married six years ago."

Paraskevas mentioned although the exhibit opens on the September 20th, "there is a big Ho-ha opening on the 21st with dancing afterwards."

Paint Your World - a 40-Year Retrospective of the Work of Michael Paraskevas will be on view Friday, September 20 through Sunday, November 10. There will be a public opening reception on Saturday, September 21, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Southampton Arts Center is located at 25 Jobs Lane in Southampton. For more information, call 631-283-0967 or visit outhamptonartscenter.org.




Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)
 

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
Location:*
Comments:*
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
Question:*
Please type the word 'water'
(For spam prevention, thanks)
 
 
 
http://www.hamptons.com/gallery/ads/2131.gif
http://www.hamptons.com/gallery/ads/2257.gif
East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices from the best flooring manufacturers and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff. Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.

CP Complete- Landscape Design & Construction
Paul Guillo And Chris Hall Two Of The Most Respected Names In The Community Together, they are partners in CP Complete. They bring their years of experience and integrity to creating and renovating luxury backyards.

Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 33 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field.
Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 34 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field. Trusted, experienced and successful, Andrea has solidified herself as the go-to broker of the Hamptons and a wholehearted advocate for her clients. A pioneer in the real estate industry on the East End of Long Island, she is driven by her passion for the business. Andrea is based in the Bridgehampton office of Brown Harris Stevens as a licensed real estate associate broker and consultant. Formerly, a principal partner and Senior Director at Brown Harris Stevens, Andrea now assists in developing their corporate strategy for the Hamptons region, advising other brokers and sales associates, as well as being one of the top producers and listors.

Brown Harris Stevens is the quintessential luxury real estate firm, with a history of leadership and a culture of professionalism and discretion dating back to 1873
Brown Harris Stevens is the quintessential luxury real estate firm, with a history of leadership and a culture of professionalism and discretion dating back to 1873. At every level of Brown Harris Stevens, you will find highly experienced, knowledgeable experts, single-mindedly devoted to your interests and your satisfaction. With offices in the Hamptons, New York City, Palm Beach, and Miami our brokers are exceptional - leading the field with the quality of their work ethic, their outstanding success rate and the sheer quantity of their transactions.

Southrifty Drug 54 Jagger Lane, Southampton Village
Southrifty Drug is a small, neighborhood pharmacy with limited shelf space, and we have to be very selective about which over-the-counter items we carry. As a result you'll find a no nonsense concentration of very effective, high quality and useful products on our shelves. In this new section, we feature a number of these products that we feel are especially worthy of your consideration.

Alex Ferrone Gallery
As the only one of its kind on the North Fork, we exhibit and sell contemporary fine art works by mid-career and emerging artists with an emphasis on photo-based art. Fine art admirers and collectors enjoy opportunities to meet our exhibiting artists at special events including public receptions, Gallery Talks, and workshops.

Alex Ferrone Gallery
As the only one of its kind on the North Fork, we exhibit and sell contemporary fine art works by mid-career and emerging artists with an emphasis on photo-based art. Fine art admirers and collectors enjoy opportunities to meet our exhibiting artists at special events including public receptions, Gallery Talks, and workshops.