Meet Parra, one of Dope! Gallery's favs

Who is Parra?

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Pieter Janssen is a Dutch artist who was born in 1976. This multi-skilled artist has managed to achieve global recognition thanks to his many talents as a painter, sculptor, illustrator designer and musician. His long and rich career is punctuated by collaborations with famous sportswear brands such as Nike as well as with household art institutions like the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for which he created a mural in 2012.

What is Parra?

Parra manages to create his own universe and to adapt it to a wide range of medium and products, from classical canvases or posters to more commercial, designed objects or streetwear items. His vibrant red and blue nuanced illustrations and beaked women and birds in hills with generous curves are inspired by pop art and street art and often convey a humorous or satirical message. Picturing and amplifying everyday life scenes, one can see in Parra’s work the influence of other prominent artists such as Keith Haring for his lines and colours.

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How did Parra Became Parra?

His father who was an artist himself, and his passion for skateboard as a teenager led the young Pieter Janssen to be in contact with art and urban culture which became his main inspiration. Struggling at first, he started to create flyers and posters for clubs and bars in Amsterdam and developed his unique style and made a name for himself in the 90’s. He collaborated with Ben & Jerry’s on commercial campaigns which soon attracted the attention of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art a tipping point in his carrier as his work entered into museums for the first time. SFMOMA commissioned a sixty-foot-long mural 'Weirded out' by Parra which is now part of the museum collections.

Whilst continuing to collaborate and merge his unique style with famous sportswear brands (Nike, Vans etc…) Parra’s work can now also be discovered on the walls of numerous art galleries across Europe Japan and North America. Parra is also the co-founder of his own apparel label “By Parra” and is also involved in electronic music bands.

Why we think Parra is DOPE!

The similarities between Parra’s illustrations and Keith Haring’s work (also available on DOPE! Gallery) is not the only thing that has drawn us to this artist. What we find remarkable about Parra is how his work is contrasted. It can be seen as figurative but also abstract, it is both colourful and plain and this subtle balance and elegance shows Parra’s talent! The way he managed to create a unique and immediately recognizable universe bridging the artistic, urban and commercial sphere fits into our contemporary era and matches with DOPE! Gallery’s ambition to promote artists that are representative of our modern society.

You can buy Parra’s work on our website :

http://dope.gallery/prints/?category=parra

ZINAN: SHANGHAI BASED STREET ARTIST

Zinan is a young and polyhedric contemporary Chinese artist who finds his routes and his inspirations in many forms of arts.
He studied Fashion Design in the University of Shenzhen, graduated in 2007, but already in 2003 he started working on his first graffiti, first composed of letters and then, from 2005, focusing more on landscapes, that he found much more involving.

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He feels a particular attraction for the spontaneity of nature that clearly shows a freshness that, according to Zinan, the urban context has lost because of its huge number of people and because of a certain kind of frenzy that characterizes it.

In 2012 he moved to Shanghai which he thinks is the most stimulating city in China for a young contemporary artist, thanks to the artistic ferment present on the metropolis. On the contrary, he was finding Shenzhen a bit limited in terms of culture and sources of inspiration.

Because of his need to explore the world, he engaged himself in many travels in China and abroad. He loved the landscapes of Yunnan province, Tibet, Thailand and the Cambodian jungle that gave him a strong energy, essential for his artistic creations.

He had the chance to explore the American street art, during his stay in Los Angeles and Hawaii, and to deeply analyse Italian Renaissance art during his stay in Florence, where he was particularly fascinated by the sculptures.

All these elements had a strong impact on him and gave him the possibility to closely face western symbols, who became an important source of inspiration for him. This hunger of achieving new skills and getting to know new realities, shapes this artist.

He attended festivals in New York, Hong Kong (HKWalls) and Japan where he exhibited his essential and clear painting style, characterised by the use of geometrical shapes and simple colours, representing, most of all, natural subjects. He recently did a collaboration with Nike Campus in Shanghai and also worked with Louis Vuitton (design of a foulard).

He has always experimented many kinds of supports such as wood, acrylic, LED and canvas.

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Zinan and his collaborator Didi are the founders of OOP SUPPLY, a brand whose products are street wear clothes, everyday goods and prints portrayed in a series of T-shirt, discovering the close relationship between fashion and visual arts.

They will challenge themselves in a new project starting from October 2017, consisting of a documentary of a “one month trip” throughout the marvellous sceneries of Vietnam and Laos where they will explore the natural and urban settings of this places, while making murals and installations using local materials, recreating and reinterpreting them into something new.

Every artwork, once finished, will be left to local people...