• Pick of the Week

    Emiliano Gironella Parra

    While Americans condemn Mexican lawlessness, much illegal drug trade south of the border is driven by U.S. demand. In his PST: LA/LA show titled “Artempatía” (Empathy Art), Mexico City artist Emiliano Gironella Parra imports a sampling of the horrors we usually only read about in newspapers. Weapons, narcotics and anguish abound in pieces of diverse media. An assault rifle is loaded with injection needles. Flowers grow from a giant grenade vase. Methacrylate sculptures resembling ice blocks portray self-inflictions and externally enacted afflictions. In San Sebastían (2010, detail above), hypodermic needles prick a frozen Saint Sebastian, a macabre individual allegory of populational agony. In the particularly pointed Billetes 1, devil horns adorn Franklin on $100 bills beside sequential drawings of a crudely sketched beheading. Gironella Parra’s aesthetic of grisliness with a whimsical touch resembles that of Luis Estrada’s El infierno film, which also treats of cartel hellishness. His grotesque symbolism mirrors the visual language of narcoculture, while its critical implications are in the vein of Goya’s “Disasters of War.” Offsetting his work’s heavy content, his collaborations with orphans of assassinated police evince art’s therapeutic capabilities.


    Jason Vass
    1452 E. Sixth Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90021
    Show runs through Oct. 14

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