Over the Influence is pleased to present New Solitude, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Erik Parker.
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 to 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.