Pieter Janssen (Dutch, b.1976), better known as Parra, began his career as a favorite “cult artist,” best known for his album art illustrations and music venue posters. However, Parra’s oeuvre has rapidly expanded, no longer just an illustrator, painter, and sculptor, but a musician, and even fashion designer. The latter leading to collaborations with Nike and Pendleton, and the establishment of his own clothing label, Rockwell by Parra. Regardless of medium, Parra’s work is immediately recognizable due to its saturated palette (often shades of blues, reds, and pinks), and its reoccurring cast of characters: sensual, bird- human hybrids. Though labeled a “post-Pop” artist, Parra’s work draws upon historical antecedents, as well as contemporary inspiration. The lithe limbs of his curvaceous humanoid-avian figures are reminiscent of Matisse, while the deft utilization of vibrant color is akin to the psychedelic hues of Victor Moscoso. Having shed the label underground artist, Parra’s work has been exhibited through the world, and is included in the permanent collection of San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art.
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