Jesus got a whammy bar
Eugene Parnell

July 5 - 28, 2012

Opening Reception: 5 - 8pm
First Thursday, July 5, 2012

In his latest show, Jesus got a whammy bar, Eugene Parnell has built a bunch of crazy-ass electric guitars and some other cool instruments that mostly have dirty jokes for titles.

In the past twenty years, there has been much interest around the art world in women's colloquial art forms – embroidery, knitting, weaving, and textiles. Parnell turns this on its head through his tongue-in-cheek exploration of "men's colloquial art forms". Woodworking, similar to model railroading, fly-tying, taxidermy, and automotive customization, is a craft practiced almost entirely by men, and very often by men who would never set foot in an art museum. Yet these men wrestle with the same aesthetic issues, and search for the same meaning in their own work, as fine artists. Luthiery, the art of building stringed musical instruments, is the most demanding genre of woodworking. Parnell uses his mastery of this art form as a kind of sly commentary on men's search for an authentic location for masculine identity in an increasingly feminized postmodern art world.

Eugene Parnell has been building musical instruments for 30 years. He got an MFA at some art school and then had a bunch of gallery shows that no one really gives a shit about. He has been to 33 countries on six continents, been nearly trampled to death twice (once by an elephant and once by a water buffalo), has eaten live beetles and dog meat, hunted crocodiles, and shaken hands with an actual headhunter. He has seen every episode of "The Rockford Files". He knows someone who actually visited James Brown in prison. Once he was beaned in the head by Trent Reznor's empty beer cup. He lives and works in Seattle.

Noon-5pm Thurs-Sat, or by appointment.

Next Exhibition:

Curtis Erlinger
(more info)


The Praydator, 2012 (detail)
Electric guitar: koa wood, ebony, maple, gold leaf,
brass, electronics, 42" x 18" x 4"

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