Erik Parker solo exhibition "New Solitude" opens at Over the Influence Hong Kong

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Erik Parker solo exhibition "New Solitude" opens at Over the Influence Hong Kong
Erik Parker, New Solitude, Installation View, Over the Influence, Hong Kong, 2020. Courtesy of the Artist and Over the Influence.

HONG KONG.- Over the Influence presents New Solitude, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Erik Parker. The exhibition opened on 28 November and will run until 09 January 2021.

Brooklyn-based artist Erik Parker has risen in the art world as a singular voice of dissent, resistance, and complaint, humorously expressed in vibrant, playfully appealing visual narratives. His rebellious and youthful paintings are jam-packed with reference material in compositions that exploit today’s familiar feeling of overstimulation. Parker’s practice has always touched on politics and the 24-hour news cycle of contemporary media, and his upcoming exhibition at Over the Influence, Hong Kong is no different.

With works such as Bro, Hot Spot, and Crackdown, Parker decidedly articulates flashpoints of current cultural dissension. Bro, a reference to politician Bernie Sanders’ loyal Bernie Bro followers, is a portrait composed of a cacophony of contemporary icons, guns, cartoon tanks, and idyllic beaches. What seems dire and apocalyptic in the subject’s internal structure is calmed by Seuss-like beaches reflected in his glasses intended as an escape from our raucous lives. But don’t let that small glimpse of hope fool you, Parker’s works are notorious for their sinister undertones. These places of escapism are imagined idyllic landscapes, the real ones threatened today by rising seas and exceptionally destructive storms. Alongside climate change, Parker pokes at hot button issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and authoritarian tendencies of current world leaders. All painted in 2020, a year of global instability, the works in the exhibition each touch upon the many factors leading towards the distrust of media, politics, and people in power. Yet scattered throughout are moments of calm, in the embrace of Amazing and the jubilance of Stay Strong. The world may be in chaos, but the relationships we have will hold us together.

Born in 1968 in Stuttgart, Germany, Parker was raised in San Antonio, Texas. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996 and a Master of Fine Arts from SUNY Purchase in 1998. Parker has been awarded several honors throughout his career, including the Durhurst Family Scholarship (1997), Rose Scholarship (1997), and the Rema Hort-Mann Foundation Grant (1999).

Parker has had solo exhibitions at galleries and museums around the world, including the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; De Appel, Amsterdam; and Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX. His work is in numerous important international collections including The Brooklyn Museum, NY; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Montreal, Canada; and Faurschou Foundation, Copenhagen, DK.

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