Pedro Paricio is a Spanish artist hailing from Tenerife, who has been creeping up on the contemporary painting scene in recent years, with great acclaim. After finishing an education in Fine Arts at art school in Barcelona, Paricio embarked on a series of global shows, including a solo exhibition at the Seyhoun Gallery in Los Angeles, a show at the Institute of Arts and Culture of Seville, and shows at Plataforma Arte Contemporáneo Madrid and Tenerife’s Espacio de les Artes. The artist’s profile has been quietly gathering momentum; and an all new show at London’s bombastic Halcyon Gallery last September, is helping him to smash the UK’s art scene.
Halcyon, which is known for championing some of the biggest upcoming, and already established names in the art world, is the sort of gallery where the super rich go for their shopping. It may not be the most conceptual, or cutting edge gallery, but its size and success is testament to the fact that it must be doing something right. The Paricio show in September 2016, which decked out several floors of their palazzo of a space on Bond Street, displayed Paricio’s paintings in the sort of setting Halycon’s collectors have at home. Entitled Dreams, the exhibition was a brand new body of work that explores the artist’s “self-reflection, the collective subconscious and the transcendental nature of art”. So far, so good.
It wasn’t the first show the gallery has done with the artist – in fact he was their youngest ever signee, when Paricio was aged just 28; however it was certainly his biggest to date. His imaginative scenes fitted the bill nicely, figurative works in pop colours, with contemporary takes on Dali-esque abstraction that hint as is his Spanish roots. Footing of time and place in his work is abandoned for imagery that takes on tasks from trench warfare to playing fetch with a dog, in a pretty picture that errs on sickly but remains somewhat didactic in its appeal. Composition’s movement can feel rigid, but elements synthesised in to rainbow kaleidoscopes help make sure you know this isn’t reality. “Intriguing” is the first word that springs to mind.
Paricio’s works have been praised in the media and by museum directors, so more adulation seems unnecessary – however, they are what they are, and they speak of the modern markets, for bold, graphic imagery that seems one part meme, one part gonzo artist and would feel at home on any hip-East London residence. They’re not going to be studied in years to come by theory quoting students on their History of Art MA’s – but then that isn’t their point, and it doesn’t have to be everyone’s either. Their Longevity is yet to be fully declared, but with a name like the Halcyon behind him, it’s hard to imagine him disappearing.
Pedro Paricio: Dreams, at Halcyon Gallery