Confrontational, bold, disturbing, deliberately transgressive. All these are terms that come to mind when viewing the arresting work of Claudio Parentela. Born in 1962 in Catanzaro, on the Ionian coast of southern Italy, Parentela has spent several active decades on the international art scene. Versed in a variety of mediums from illustration and painting, to photography and even journalism, his work has appeared in a staggering list of publications, most notably NY Arts Magazine, Turntable & Blue Light Magazine and Why Vandalism?, both in his native country and abroad.

Here, we at JAM are extremely excited to present a collection of collages that Parentela has chosen to submit for display. With a sense of energy and freedom reminiscent of a child’s doodles, yet retaining the kind of lyricism and layered complexity that often marks a great artist, this series mashes together the discipline of collage with those of painting and illustration. Many of the photographs used in the pieces’ construction appear to be from lifestyle magazines or advertising and as such, you cannot help but feel that the derision of the idea of prescribed, inorganic beauty is a running theme; perhaps an ideological link to the underground, D.I.Y. zines with which Parentela is frequently associated. The grotesque, cartoonish embellishments to the source materials utilise a focused crudeness and with the artist’s propensity for grossly anatomically inaccurate depictions of genitalia, many of the collages carry the look of a toilet cubicle wall or a schoolboy’s work book. Though the interplay, between the elements that have been added and the elements that have been appropriated, leaves a far more unsettling feeling.

In short, we love Claudio Parentela’s work and we hope you do too.

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Article: Benjamin Paul

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