Too Mad to Be Scared
The Aldrich's exhibition of the work of Erik Parker focuses on his lyrical maps, which present and document a timely, poignant, and thoroughly critical overview of the obscure socio-political and economic dynamics of the United States. As he condemns the status quo and re-considers conspiracy theories, Parker condenses his narratives in tight word clusters, engulfed by cartoony looking visceral shapes. On occasion, he uses the template of the United States map to spell out the dynamics of the counter-culture, underground, and marginalized communities. This "finally puts them on the US map," he explains, transforming the American territory into one of inclusion for those generally excluded and providing an alternative perspective on the country. Parker's work is an attempt to illustrate his overall take on the most pressing issues of the day through aggressively youthful and rebellious fast-paced mark-making, compositional intensity, strident colors, and an anti-authoritarian approach to established ideologies. As Parker comments on our times and what he considers to be distortions of everyday reality, he does so through vivid spectacles filled with humor and wit, in the hope that his work will form the basis for a colorful art of resistance.