Purlia, a La Jolla resident who began taking artistic photos in 2004, said this will be his first solo exhibit.
"The Pannikin is not that far from my house, so I walk by there all the time and go in and get coffee," Purlia said. "And it seemed like the perfect venue for the type of art I do."
With a playful but strong attention to detail, Purlia says he plans to fill the coffee shop with "record album covers, wooden blocks and robots, that type of thing, to continue the theme that I represent through my photographs," during an opening reception on Sept. 1 at the Pannikin.
Purlia said the colorful photos, which stage plastic and wooden figurines against a backdrop of vinyl record covers from the 1950s and '60s that he collected and arranged, are an attempt to bring a childlike perspective to his typically adult viewers.
"The toys that I use in the foreground sort of remind me of how, when you're a little kid, you have this very intimate relationship with your toy and the things that you find," Purlia explained, adding that children "find something and look at it really, really closely, but I think as adults we lose sight of that."
Even the upcoming exhibit's name captures a similar retro feel.
"Since I'm doing this at the Pannikin, I wanted the show to [have] something to do with coffee "¦ as I was developing the show decided to use little wooden blocks," he said. "It sounds like something that would be the name of a psychedelic record album from the 1960s."
John Purlia's photography exhibit will run from Sept. 1 through 30 at the Pannikin CafÃ©, 7467 Girard Ave. The opening reception will take place on Saturday, Sept. 1 from 7 to 9 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
For more information about the artwork, visit johnpurlia.com.