Santiago Parra - New Now Hong Kong Friday, March 29, 2024 | Phillips
  • Santiago Parra’s art inherits the grand, explosive energy of the Abstract Impressionists, made with a technique that is all his own. The immense black arcs, sinuous curves, and small, visceral spatters of this painting counter and parallel each other with astonishing grace, but not deliberately: they were all made in one long, single brushstroke, made when the artist willed himself into a trance.


    He is only ready to paint, he says, when he reaches a point of “intense concentration where consciousness shuts down giving way to the unconscious mind, in this moment I begin to paint”i, and so totally devotes himself to the artwork in one session, composing without pause or doubt. With this, he produces a distinctly individual work every time: despite only painting in black, every line, layer and tiny fleck of his paint here retains an astonishing force and novelty, forming shapes and patterns unlike any in his other paintings.


    Even so, Parra has absorbed a huge range of sources throughout his artistic education. His initial studies were in literature, where he discovered the Surrealists’ Automatic Writing -which he feels is closer to his technique than the more conscious methods of Jackson Pollock or Franz Kline- while his limited brushstrokes and colours show clear parallels with calligraphy, without the distraction of literary meaning. Having sold his first painting at 23, his exhibitions have since taken him across the world -with solo shows in London, New York, and Switzerland in the last three years alone- and so given him the chance to absorb yet more influences firsthand. Seeing Pollock’s Eyes in the Heat in Venice, for example, has recently inspired him to continue “a long song that has to be sung for generations”ii, while still producing works that, in their rhythm, intensity, and spontaneity, are still unmistakably his. With the present work marking the artist’s auction debut in Asia, Parra’s top auction record was recently set by Phillips in London in 2021 with the sale of a comparative work, Untitled (2021), which hammered down for almost GBP 30,000 with Buyer’s Premium. The artist’s second top record at auction was also recently set in March 2023 by Phillips in New York.


    Born in Bogotá in 1986, Parra studied Literature before taking up an art education at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and Academy of Art University in San Francisco, adopting a monochrome, yet visceral abstract painting style, made with an instinctive yet carefully cultivated expressiveness. Represented by JD Malat Gallery, he recently exhibited with them online in 2023: Santiago Parra: Instinct from 9 July to 9 August 2023, and at their New York gallery in 2022: Santiago Parra: Unconscious from September to 1 October 2022. Parra is currently being honoured by a solo show held by JD Malat in London, running until 6 April 2024.



    i: Press release for Parra’s Unconscious exhibition at JD Malat Gallery, New York (9 September – 1 October 2022), online.

    ii: Press release for Parra’s Sparks of Fire exhibition at JD Malat Gallery, London (7 March – 6 April 2024), online.

    • Provenance

      Galeria El Sextante, Colombia
      Acquired from the above by the present owner



signed 'Parra' lower left
monochrome acrylic on canvas
110 x 164.8 cm. (43 1/4 x 64 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2010.

Full Cataloguing

HK$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for HK$127,000

Contact Specialist

Angela Tian
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
20th Century & Contemporary Art, Hong Kong
+852 2318 2058

New Now

Hong Kong Auction 29 March 2024