Monday, March 31, 2008


It's been a while since I did a piece on art and seeing as the original intention of the blog was not just to be solely music-based but rather to spread my wings over all forms of popular culture, I thought it was high time that we took an albeit brief look at another artist that I greatly admire. I'm going to try and make these sorts of posts a lot more frequent in the weeks to come.

Pieter Janssen, more commonly known as Parra, is the man behind those hand-drawn flat posters and prints that have been garnering a huge following the world over amongst the new bohemian streetwear-enthused hippie jetset and for good reason as his bold humor-filled designs are just the kick in the arse the overly serious art world needs. He's sold out shows in London and Los Angeles, which was at the HVW8 gallery, and recently his work has graced the cover of Juxtapoz magazine. If you see a poster of his on the streets anywhere take a picture because it won't be around long. This is his bio that I resourcefully plucked off the internet for your convenience, "An underground star in his hometown of Amsterdam, where fans scour the streets to tear down his posters, Parra's work is treasured by a new generation of design fanatics. A natural self taught Typographer and Graphic Artist, Parra grew up living with his artist father. Surrounded by colour, oil paint, wood, & Rubenesque paintings he immersed himself in early nineties music and street culture, developing the unique style he's know for today. Taking a handfull of selected commercial design jobs every year Parra prefers to make the bulk of his output flyers, posters & identities for friends & admirers, making his work available for everyone to use, keep or discard as they wish. His first solo gallery show, Jobs I did for friends for under £100 took place at London's Kemistry Gallery in March 2005 and sold out in three days. Hugely prolific, Parra also designs his own streetwear label, Rockwell clothing, launched in 2000 and stocked in London, Tokyo, Berlin and New York. "

His studio above his store in Amsterdam.

One of the many record sleeves that he has done in recent times. I've even gone as far as collecting these even though the music doesn't always tick the right boxes, which is quite a sad thing to admit in all truth.

You can read the interviews at Fecal Face or at XLR8R to dive even deeper into the man's mindset. What I really like about him is that he proves that the early bird doesn't always get the worm but that the night owl makes a killing as well.

Besides the myriad of cool shit that he produces and sells through the Rockwell Clothing website, he has also turned his hand to two designs for the seriously on it Stones Throw record label and they are the item de rigueur up here at the Academy after Egon made a killing after his talk a few weeks back.

These are words that every designer has heard and wanted to spit fire immediately afterwards. Tragically funny.

This is the music video that he did for his band Le Le Musique, it is as bonkers as I was hoping that it would be and then some.

The only thing that upsets me about Parra is the way he stores his records...

1 comment:

christopher keys said...

the video is superb - brilliant, thanks for the intro to a really talented guy :)