Erik Parra is a contemporary American artist currently based in San Francisco. Parra’s paintings explore interior spaces and contain our emotional responses to the environments that we build around ourselves. Drawing on tropes of horror fiction, modernist aesthetics and political history, Parra’s works question current socio-political narratives through a vernacular of pictorial construction. Seemingly domestic or idle scenes contain strong references to movements in aesthetics, politics and history; transforming these constructed images that stem from memorised places into conversational pieces. Often, Parra works on a series of small and original compositions that conflate both a personal history and knowledge with mid-20th century narratives. At times Hopper-esque, Parra’s geometric lines and modern style speaks of an American space that is at once, utterly contemporary. Both darkness and light are employed to create familiar feelings of interior spaces; and objects within each painted interior become chosen for their ability to create a narrative in pictorial form. Simultaneously loaded and banal, Parra’s paintings draw on a collective, cultural memory and the history of painting and film. Through Parra’s works, the interior space, becomes a cultural self-portrait.
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