Leo Koenig Inc. is pleased to announce the solo exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Erik Parker.
Using an approach akin to genealogy charts, Erik Parker creates written snapshots of a particular time and place. Cross-pollinating pop and street culture with an art world who’s who, Parker conveys an unusual lineage through specific eras in our recent past. Assigning an equal emphasis to obscure and well-known figures, the names in his lists act as neurons firing in the synapses of our collective cultural consciousness.
Framing these “thought balloons” is all manner of cartoony internal organs and bodily functions. Colors are as strong as his writing is direct. It’s as if to say, the physicality of experience is necessary to punctuate the haze of memory. Using slang, borrowing elements from tagging and graffiti, Parker does the art world a favor by placing them squarely within the backbeat of the real world. Inspiration resides alongside camaraderie, celebrity exists on the fringe of obscurity.
Parker, in his own words, tries to make paintings that “look the way a hip hop song sounds.” In his work, there is no separation between the visceral and cerebral. In the end, you can only do what your gut tells you to do.
Most recently Erik Parker’s work was included in the “Greater New York” show at PS1 in Long Island City, New York. He has been awarded the Rema Hort-Mann Foundation Grant and the Purchase College 25th Anniversary Scholarship. He lives and works in New York City.