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If you can’t make it good make it big..[2]   [3]

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“‘Myths of Progress’ Explores Post-illusionism”, East Bay Express , Feb 29, 2012

“Myths of Progress: Utopic Dreams/ Dystopic Realities”
“…Erik Parra’s mixed-media paintings depict military/industrial buildings — warehouses and bunkers in red and blue — in remote, bleak locations, seen distantly as if from a helicopter; some of these examples of “Desert Modernism” have caught on fire.”

Conversation with artists happens March 31, 2 p.m. Myths of Progress runs through March 31 at Kala Gallery (2990 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley). 510-841-7000 or Kala.org.
–DeWitt Cheng
East Bay Express, February 29, 2012

“Out and About at Zughaus, Kroswork, and WE Artspace”, East Bay Express , April 20, 2011
“Expectator”
Erik Parra is showing drawings, paintings, and a pair of installations in Expectator, i.e, “spectator” plus “expectation.” Sports as an arena for vicarious audience participation is hardly a new idea, but in these deadpan works, all conventional heroics and romance vanish. A pup tent and cooler chest sit blankly on a mountain plain (“American Campsite Nocturne No. 1”); rock formations resembling huge black-and-white photos rolled into cylinders or cones stand hemmed in by ramshackle walkways (“Observation Deck” series); a sports stadium is seen by night from aloft, its human participants an undifferentiated mass (“Metric,” “Untitled (madness)”); and a speedway explosion goes unnoticed by its fans — as well as a blimp above, as oblivious as the ship in Breughel’s “Fall of Icarus.” Expectator runs through May 15 at WE Artspace (768 40th St., Oakland). 510-527-1214 or WEArtspace.com
-DeWitt Cheng
East Bay Express, April 20, 2011

“Pick of the Week”, The San Francisco Bay Guardian , vol. 44, no. 43; July 28 – August 3,2010

“Between Currencies”
Texas-raised artist Erik Parra’s collage works prominently feature photographic images with an abiding retro aesthetic (probably because they appear to be actual old photographs), dappled with blobs or confetti-like clouds of color. The appealing result is vibrant and surprising, humorous but also a bit eerie, as colors creep into a black-and-white plane like so many stills from a forgotten, more austere version of Pleasantville (1998). Though perhaps it’s irrelevant to the ideas behind Parra’s art, this critically skewed lens on images of the not-so-distant past seems curiously complementary to the recent premier of Mad Men’s fourth season. The gallery show opens today, but the official reception happens a week later. (Sam Stander)
www.johanssonprojects.com