Charles Parham was born and raised in Columbus Georgia as the youngest of eleven children. Though his early years were filled with much turmoil centered around the untimely death of his father, these years were also the central influence in his artwork. In elementary school, Charles was first encouraged to pursue his talent.
“I was sitting in class drawing a picture of my friend. Of course I was supposed to be doing my work and my teacher came over to see what I was doing… instead of being mad, she commented on how great the drawing was… she even told a couple of other people, including our principal… ever since then, I never put down the pencil.”
It was only natural that later in life, Charles would meet great success as an illustrator – even having one of his children books be accepted as a finalist in international competition. In May of 2009, his book “Dodgeball” was one of 30 displayed in Venice Italy at the 15th Annual Teatrio competition.
It wasn’t long before his passion for uninhibited expression led him to painting. Often created on large canvases, one measuring at 12’ x 15’, the works of vibrant color and untamed brush stroke often fascinate viewers. However, the intense visuals are only half of the tale. What makes this artwork truly magnificent, are the stories narrated. They range from death and childhood, ancient history, to faith and spirituality.
Referring to one of his first shows, he states that “I’m still amazed by the reception I received… they just wouldn’t leave. All kinds of people were interested in the story I was telling”
With such a dynamic style, and much to say, Charles Parham has a great future ahead of him. One can only wonder where his craft will take him – and how many people will be reached.
“When people leave my shows I want them to have had an experience that will stick with them for years to come… I want them to see the world from a different perspective – even if they respectfully disagree.”
Article by Antoine Williams, 2009