R. Nelson Parrish Catalog essay by David Pagel :: Los Angeles Times art critic
You don’t need to talk to R. Nelson Parrish for very long to discover that he loves two things in life: barreling down mountainsides at breakneck speeds and making paintings that capture those magical moments when our perceptions of the world are especially vivid—so intense, stunning, and powerful that the rest of life does not pale in comparison so much as it seems to be a point of entry into mind-blowing highlights that make it all matter.
Love must be mentioned at the start because it distinguishes Parrish’s art from much of what’s out there, particularly in terms of what makes the headlines or appears in magazines. Snarky cynicism and know-it-all condescension play a large part of what passes for contemporary discourse, both in the art world and the world at large, where public discussions seem to be increasingly driven by anger, disdain, even hatred. In contrast, Parrish’s deliciously physical abstractions start with positive passions. Rather than pointing fingers or acting out in a reactionary fashion, they take it upon themselves to seek out excitement and satisfy the human desire for experiences that are better and more thrilling than anything we had expected or anticipated.
The unknown is integral to Parrish, who goes out of his way to get out of his comfort zone, all the better to live life with the intensity it was meant for. His love of the unknown is anything but cuddly or warm and fuzzy. In “Color/Fast,” it’s ferocious. With purpose and passion, Parrish’s exhibition brings art and athleticism into graceful contact. That is rare and inspiring. It’s also a mark of Parrish’s originality. And it embodies his eagerness to share what he loves with others, despite society’s tendency to treat art and sports as if they had nothing in common....click here to read more about R Nelson Parrish
David Pagel is an art critic, educator, curator, dioramatist, and bike enthusiast. Pagel is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times. He serves as Chair of the Art Department at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California.
Whether it's dawn patrol, alpenglow, or a moonlight session, Nelson draws from your mountain experiences, extracts the color from pictures and video that you supply and he translates it to your own custom painted poles. This is specifcally designed for the art collector who loves the outdoors and would like to carry a memory from an unforgettable mountain adventure/ experience in their hands every time they step on the mountain.
step 1 - go skiing & document your adventure
step 2 - send us the footage - photography/cinematography
step 3 - deposit half up front
step 4 - consult with Nelson via conference call
step 5 - be patient (3-4 weeks)
step 6 - final deposit
step 7 - enjoy your functional art piece
cost :: a g-note or $1,000
includes :: 3 poles (two to ski with & one to hang in your livingroom), with a lifetime off-hill warranty
inspiration :: a glacial melt while big mountain skiing in haines, alaska
"This piece was created by R. Nelson Parrish from a motion study while backcountry skiing in Haines, Alaska. A couple days prior to my arrival there was a thaw which caused a sizeable glacial melt. At the bottom of one of our 3,000 vertical foot runs we came across some of the bluest water I've ever seen. I sent the footage to Nelson and he translated it to the piece you're seeing. A few weeks later I visited Nelson at his studio in Santa Barbara, CA and he had these custom painted poles inspired by the trip and color we saw in Alaska. This was the birth of the g-note.Taking into consideration that most of Nelson's art sells anywhere from $5,000-$30,000 the g-note is a bargain."
- Soul Poles founder Bryon Friedman