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 Stass Paraskos  (1933 - )

About: Stass Paraskos
 

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Lived/Active: England/Cyprus      Known for: naive-sophisticated genre and figure painting, teaching

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Frixos and Elli
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Psatharis Auctions:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Stass Paraskos was born in Anaphotia, on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus in 1933, the son of a shepherd farmer.  He went to England in 1953 and became a cook in his brother's restaurant in the city of Leeds.  This was a popular haunt of the local art students who encouraged Paraskos to enroll for classes at Leeds College of Art.  Despite not having the usual entry qualifications, Paraskos was spotted by the college's inspirational Head of Fine Art, Harry Thubron, who made certain Paraskos was accepted.

In 1966 Paraskos was involved in a notorious court case in which it was alleged he displayed paintings that were 'lewd and obscene', in contravention of the Vagrancy Act of 1823.  The court case was one of a number of important legal challenges to the freedom of the arts in the 1960s and 70s, starting with the Lady Chatterley trial in 1960, and ending with the OZ magazine trial in 1971.  Despite luminaries of the art world speaking in Paraskos' defense, including Sir Herbert Read and Norbert Lynton, and messages of support from Britain's Home Secretary Roy Jenkins, Paraskos lost the trial and was fined five pounds.

After this Paraskos started teaching at Leeds College of Art, and later at Leicester polytechnic, before becoming a Lecturer in Fine Art at Canterbury College of Art. When Canterbury College of Art became Kent Institute of Art & Design, he was appointed a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art and then Head of Painting, before returning to Cyprus to run the Cyprus College of Art on a full-time basis.

Paraskos has exhibited widely, including in Cyprus, Britain, Greece, the United States, Brazil, India, Denmark and elsewhere, and in 2003 was the subject of a book by the distinguished art historian Norbert Lynton, published by the Orange Press.

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