As someone who is often listening to alternative theories and challenging the pre-conceived states of acceptance in today’s media weary world, you’d think Erik Parker would be a jaded cynic. Instead, I ﬁnd a pragmatic optimist, with a demeanor as warm and colorful as his painting palette. His upcoming show contains elements of this intellectual curiosity, with cartoon-ish depictions of eugenics, delving into the idea of genetic engineering, ordered chaos and the quest for a ‘new world order’. The works daringly challenge you to question and re-question your own gullibility. Amongst his ingeniously named color pots, I had the pleasure of chatting to Erik about his work, his views on society today and the idea of Crisis Creation.
How do you refer to yourself if someone asks “What do you do?”
Umm…. I usually just say I’m a painter. And I treat that as a blue collar, labour job. They call it art “work” right? But then, I don’t like to use the word ‘work’ because I don’t want to get into that mindset that I gotta go to work. I really say, I listen to NPR (National Public Radio) all day… and fuss.
You had a recent show at the Paul Kasmin Gallery entitled Crisis Creation. Can you tell me a bit about it?
I think that Crisis Creation came about as a result from listening to the news a lot. It’s like eight hours of pure crisis. If you look at where we are financially, or the world global market… it’s pretty shitty. But I think a lot of that is spun out to be a crisis when it’s [not]…. I mean, there has to be some good shit happening, right? Or like the whole war on terror – to me, that was a crisis creation. A lot of bad shit happened, but you take it and you spin it in order to sell more ads. Also, introspectively we always feel like we are in a bit of a crisis. But if you take a step back, you realize – 90% of the shit you are worried about, you don’t even HAVE to worry about. There’s nothing you can do ’bout it.