I have been painting in and around Detroit for over 20 years with artwork placed in both public and private collections. I was first educated at WesternMichiganUniversity studying sculpture in the late 80s. Eventual bronze and steel patina experimentation lent credence to painting and me away from WMU in 1991 towards the Detroit art scene and WayneStateUniversity’s painting department. Under educators such as Robert Wilbert, Tom Parrish and Peter Williams I was able to flourish with my new medium, oil, and begin my lifelong journey into paint not only as a simple medium, but a vehicle for sensory experimentation and transformation.
My work is rooted in abstract expressionism, impressionism and also a nod to cubism in years past. Each genre furthers my passion for the medium and satiates my mood for imagery no matter which vehicle I choose to convey my message. I do work on a larger scale whenever possible. Scale is important to me in defining the relationship between artist and artwork and audience and artwork. Through process and experimentation the work becomes an amalgamation of color, line and texture infused with modern thought and perception. The process is everything to my work. The process generally outweighs the final product in terms of importance because of the informational and emotional release of creation.
My goal is to initially draw viewers into the image as a whole. The viewers will then observe and become comfortable with scale, light and the relationships of color and movement. Into further observation of nuance, the accidental and purposeful relationships of any scale that resonate become apparent as primal, and finally back again to debate the overall impact of the message be it sociological, political or otherwise.
When my career as an artist began it seemed all I wanted to paint was trauma genres; to make bold statements regarding the injustices of the world through simple but narrowly defined concepts. I consider it important work for my career, but also the work of a youth passionately influenced by the German Expressionists as well as singular works such as Picasso’s Guernica. As my career progressed I began to delve deeper into the medium forsaking some immediate messaging. The influence of Van Gogh and De Kooning filtered in. Van Gogh’s texture and line work congealed with De Kooning’s compositions and forceful use of paint caused me to create hybrid messaging that relied more on subtlety with increased focus on direct color and line relationships. By 2012 that direction carried me away from the figure almost completely and closer to abstraction expressionism. The paint itself was speaking more forcefully through my process. This is not to say that my paintings are now bereft of sociological, political or otherwise messaging, but that their representation in my work is now defined with a different thought, a more mature understanding of the art and its context in the world around me.
All psychological refinements aside, the newer paintings do reflect a focus on my concept of Americana. The illogical pressures of life in this country reverberate through my work. Be it our wars, political corruption, societal dysfunction or just our country’s obsession with fame and money, this all seeps into my work. I have come to realize that my shift into process itself and its benefits on a superficial level almost act as a coping mechanism for societal ills. The paintings become pretty pictures much in the way women are often seen as objects instead of individuals. The artwork’s final imagery reverberates closer to sexual reverence. The message however, remains just under the skin.
I prefer to work in oils whenever possible for the absolute beauty and intensity, but also utilize acrylics, watercolor and spray paint depending on the effect I am looking for. I am obsessed with what paint can do; be it painted, poured, tossed, globbed on or scraped. Happy accidents and planned execution of paint provide an unlimited dialogue of perception at its most primal. If I am not painting thickly, then I typically liquefy the paint using a mixture of oils, resins and other vehicles. These additives act as thinners along with highly pigmented paints that can withstand thinning without compromising color quality. In this manner of painting reactions are just as important as actions as the paint takes on a life of its own when it meets complimentary or contradictory elements.
BFA- Wayne State University 1994
College for Creative Studies, Detroit MI
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo MI
2013 Scheduled Exhibitions:
Characterized by Color: Paintings by Jon Parlangeli, Wayne County Community College, Visiting Artists and Lecture Series, Detroit MI--September-November 2013
Landscapes by Jon Parlangeli- BUC, Bloomfield Hills MI-October 2013
Stretch the Stranglehold-4731 Gallery, Detroit MI-September 2013
Benetton Small Canvas Project, 2013 Venice Biennale via Library Street Gallery in partnership with the Luciano Benetton Foundation, Detroit MI--Summer 2013
2012 Painting Invitational, 4731 Gallery, DetroitMI 2012
Watercolor: A New Perspective, WayneStateUniversity, Detroit, MI 2011
Paintings by Jon Parlangeli, Pittman Puckett Gallery, Ferndale, MI 2010
The Small Show, Detroit Artists Market, Detroit MI 2009
Jon Parlangeli at the Lotus Gallery, Black Lotus, Clawson, MI 2009
Wet Paint: New Paintings by Jon Parlangeli, 2007 Michigan Institute of Art (MIA), Pontiac, MI
Collector’s Choice Group Show-May 2006 Michigan Institute of Art (MIA), Pontiac, MI
Best of the Best Group Show, 2005 PF Galleries, Clawson, MI
C-Pop Annual Group shows, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 C-Pop Gallery, Detroit MI
Ism Schism- Two painters-1998 C-Pop Gallery , Detroit, MI
The Sex Show, 1997 C-Pop Gallery, Detroit MI
New Paintings by Jon Parlangeli, 1997 Ariana Gallery, Royal Oak, Mi
The Uninvited Group Show, 1996 Museum of New Art (M.O.N.A.), Pontiac, MI
Patrimonio, The Legacy of Italian Art in Michigan, 1996 Sponsored by the government of Italy and Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Emerging Artists, 1995 Start Gallery, Birmingham MI
Clean Slate, 1994 Start Gallery, Birmingham, MI
Emerging Artists, 1993 Janice Charach Epstein Museum Gallery, West Bloomfield, MI
Public Art Commissions:
St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, PontiacMI, via Aesthetics Inc of San DiegoCA, placement 2013
Circuit Court, OaklandCountyMI 2013
Circuit Court, OaklandCountyMI 2012
Toyota Motor Corporation, Ann ArborMI 2012
International Bancard Inc, ClawsonMI, 2012
Henry Ford Health Systems Detroit, Macomb and West Bloomfield, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
Henry Ford Innovation Institute, DetroitMI, 2011
Northern Regional Health System: Permanent Collection (John and Marnie Demmer Wellness Pavilion), Petoskey MI, 2011
Langdon and Associates, Madison HeightsMI 2010
Contemporary Artists North America, Luciano Benetton Foundation, Expected release fall 2013/spring 2014
Studio Visit Magazine, June 2013