Joseph Parra: IDENTITY PORTRAITS

Incredible use and manipulation of multiple techniques and forms of media. Blending of current mediums has never looked so traditional. Parra’s work can be as subtle as an oil painting, and as rigid as a charcoal drawing. His use of line placement to sculpt and portray realism in figures was originally what attracted me to his work. Also, I always praise the idea of making the subjects of each piece life size in order to confront the audience, its almost as if interaction is practically forced upon the viewer by making the piece itself equal in height. It makes each piece seem less like a work of art and more like an actual living being.

From Parra’s artist statement:

“I question the innate desire to capture a person through artistic production. Can you replicate an individual, the components that whittle a form, onto a surface? I consciously displace my ability to portray a person and use this hindrance to develop process. While I physically try to reveal an image, with the intention of seeing the internal, I use multiple layers to reflect the different constructs of being human. Exposing and concealing of an appropriated figure is my tool. This includes, sanding to reveal an image printed underneath multiple opaque and transparent layers, or sanding a print ridding the figure’s physical information and obscuring identity. I incorporate layering with printmaking, digital printing, drawing and painting. The figures are usually life-size because I am interested in the duality between confrontation and connection. In my life-size charcoal drawings moments of landscape, cellular structure, bodily interior, textures and mark making are present. The visual generates a push and pull as the abstract marks create the figure while also diffusing it into abstraction.”
-Joseph Parra

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