In the deceptively simple Tom Petty song Yer So Bad, the singer tells the story of his sister’s tangled love life with a central theme of betrayal, and it’s the jumping off point for Dutch artist Parra and his series of canvas and paper artworks of the same name. The story as presented by Parra is told via two media; his canvas works feature a saturated red and blue palette, while his pen and ink drawings use bold black and white simplicity. Across both groups his characters are constant – nude figures with strange, bird-like faces who play out their complex relationship drama uninhibited.
The works have been described as Post-Pop, with strong Pop Art genetics that are most clearly evident in the use of repetition and nods to the likes of Keith Haring and particularly Roy Lichtenstein. Photostory melodrama is mixed with the mundane trivialities of the everyday and the fantastically absurd in Yer So Bad, which is being shown at Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, until 7 February. In conjunction with the exhibition, Parra has produced a limited edition zine which is available to purchase from the gallery and Printed Matter Inc at 195 Tenth Avenue.