Neon Commercialism

In this set, the artist explores the perceived association of Western brands and their logos emblazoned in our contemporary psyche. Almost alit with burning religious flame, the logos and their unexpected Farsi transliterations create poignant images of a globalized diaspora of these commercial enterprises. Hermes, Puma, Ferrari, and their kin, contain a degree of shock in their unexpected reincarnation in Middle Eastern letters, which is not the norm in the modern Orient. Intentionally using a Farsi typeface used in traditional poetry and scripture, Parnes’ series thus bring life to the old adage, “lost in translation.”


World Trade Center debris, plexiglas

World Trade Center
8 x 8 x 44.5cm
World Trade Center debris, plexiglass

One of the most lauded works from Parnes’ oeuvre, World Trade Center utilizes actual debris from arguably the most important event of the early 21st century. “On September 11th, “ the artist recalls, “I watched from my roof in real time the display that unfolded in New York City.  After the second Tower collapsed, something inside compelled me to immediately descend to the unfolding chaos downtown. I snuck into the off-limit zones, knowing the labyrinth of streets in the area and experienced the drama first hand. Equipped with a dust mask and camera, I found only a few fellow New Yorkers roaming the area in a seemingly mesmerized daze. It was this particular contrast of the intensity of hours earlier, with so many survivors seeking refuge from the wreckage that I found so disturbing.  Silence accompanied the morning breeze, sprinkling bits of someone’s morning paper and various fragments.

This piece was featured on the home page of the New York Times web site www.nytimes.com and was displayed at the New York Times building in Times Square.
Front Page of nytimes.com

Lobby of New York Times building