Jose Parla /   José Parlá

United States 1973

Urban Art, Street Art, Sculpture, Photography

Jose Parla
José Parlá
United States
September 19, 2014
Music, Gestalt, .

Jose Parla (American, b.1973) is a painter and historical transcriber who records his experiences using palimpsestic code and calligraphy. Parla is also a visual raconteur who creates his work using backdrops, such as city walls marred from years of neglect, to tell the story of distress that he encounters in various places he visits. Parla was born in Miami, FL, to Cuban parents in exile.

Parla has received critical acclaim for his works, which lie at the boundary between abstraction and calligraphy. Composed from layers of paint, gestural drawing and found ephemera, his work evokes the histories of urban environments. Parla is a documentarian of city life. Using the backdrop of New York City and many other towns, he re-makes in paint what can appear to be photorealist fragments of what he sees in the chaos and rush of the metropolis. His paintings reflect the accumulated memories and experiences, the walls that show a place that was, but no longer is — built over, renewed in some other configuration. Parla paints revelations — transcriptions of the process — proof of the history of our neighborhoods. Parla’s work shows that words, signs, and marks come to mean more; over time, in this symphony of diversity, both incongruous and in harmony, that surrounds our contemporary life. His practice originated in graffiti’s experimental and collaborative approaches during the eighties. These markings expose his drive to say or divulge the passing of time, in the moment.

Parla started painting when he was just 10 years old. In 1989, he received the Francis McCommon Scholarship to the Savannah College of Art & Design in Georgia. Parla continued his studies in the 1990s at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL, where, under Mel Alexemberg (American, b.1937), he studied advanced painting. He also received a Scholastic Art Award in 1989. Parla uses calligraphy painting and graffiti on city walls to tell visual stories that interpret the urban world as a living continuing history.

In 2000, the artist began to exhibit his series of prints and paintings in various solo exhibitions in Atlanta, GA. Parla named his first Miami, FL, solo exhibition Cityscapes. He held this exhibition in 2006. Since then, Parla has exhibited Layered days in New York in 2008, Reading through Seeing in Hong Kong in 2009, and Walls, Diaries, and Paintings in New York in 2011. Parla has also participated in group exhibitions including The New Yorkers held at the V1 gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark. The artist has made a great contribution to Modern Graffiti Art, using it as a tool for city walls to tell the history of the people in the cities. Parla’s exhibition artworks Walls, Diaries, and Paintings and Character Gestures have also been published as books of the same name in the years 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Recently, Parla has collaborated with anonymous artist JR (French, b.1983) to paint street murals in Havana, Cuba. The artist has made enormous contributions to Street Art through calligraphy and graffiti; he is a notable artist in the rapidly growing Street Art Movement. Parla has been invited to exhibit his work and lecture at the MAC Museum and Whitworth College in Spokane, WA. His works can be seen at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, NY, The Burger Collection, Hong Kong, and in the streets of Havana.

The artist lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

YearExhibition titleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2012UntitledBrooklyn Academy of Music,Brooklyn, NYSolo
2012UntitledSavannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA Solo
2012UntitledHavana Biennial, Havana, CubaSolo
2011Legal TenderMartha Otero Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2011José Parlá: Walls, Diaries, and PaintingsBryce Wolkowitz, NYCSolo
2011Character GesturesO.H.W.O.W, Los Angles, CaliforniaSolo
2010The New Grand Tour Bryce WolkowitzBryce Wolkowitz,NYCGroup
2010Street/Studio 2.0Irvine Contemporary, Washington, D.C.Group
2009It Ain’t FairO.H.W.O.W., Miami, FLGroup
2009Stages Live Strong Foundation O.H.W.O.W., MiamiGroup
2009Stages Live Strong Foundation Deitch Projects, New YorkGroup
2009StagesLive Strong Foundation Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris, FranceGroup
2009UntitledThe Paper Chase Plaything Gallery and O.H.W.O.W. Curated by Al Moran & Aaron Bondaroff New ZealandGroup
2009UntitledThe New Yorkers V1 Gallery, Curated by Todd James and Mikklel GroennebaekGroup
2009Reading through Seeing New Works Ooi Botos Gallery, Hong KongSolo
2008Layered Days Cristina GrajalesInc. Soho, NYCSolo
2008AdaptationTranslation Elms Lesters Painting Rooms, London, UKSolo
2008Memory DocumentsGalleria Il Trifoglio Nero, Genova, Italy Solo
2008The New Grand Tour DNA SpaceDashanzi Art District, Beijing,ChinaGroup
2008UntitledHi & Lo Kai Kai Ki Ki Gallery, Tokyo, Japan Curated by Takashi Murakami and Hiroshi FujiwaraGroup
2007The Grand TourAutopsy Gallery,Melbourne, AUSolo
2007The Elsewhere CommunityMonster Children Gallery, Sydney, AUSolo
2007The Rosy Blue Masters Royal MirageDubai Cultural Council, UAE Curated by Marc LatamieGroup
2007Pirate UtopiasElms Lesters Painting Rooms, London, UKGroup
2007The New Grand Tour Brave Gallery, Hong KongGroup
2006June 13thJosé Parlá & Dr.Romanelli Joyce, Hong KongGroup
2006In or Out?Elms Lesters Painting Rooms, London, UKGroup
2006Stussy World TourLos Angeles, CAGroup
2006The Puppy Love Project: Cancer Benefit Luminaire and Christie’s charity auction.Art Basel Miami Beach, FLGroup
2006Cityscapes Curated by Manon SlomeArt Basel Miami Beach, FLSolo
2006The Mystic Writing PadKoehler Gallery, Wihtworth College, WA Solo
2005Contemporary PalimpsestsRefill Gallery, Sydney, AUSolo
2005Serendip, Tsunami Relief, Sri Lanka.White Box Gallery, NYGroup
2005Art NitesExperiencia Culinaria Museo de Arte de Puerto RicoGroup
2005June 13thJosé Parlá & Dr.Romanelli Louis Vuitton’s Celux, Tokyo, Japan
2005José Parlá Billboard Project V10.0.Undefeated & Nike, Curated by Aaron Rose, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2004Hyphens: Miami New YorkHabana Prophecy Gallery, Harlem, NYSolo
2004Barnstormers Retrospective SECCASoutheastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NCGroup
2004Hollywood to the Street: From the Poster to Graffiti, Mimmo Rotella & José Parlá,Curated by Manon Slome, Pictography The Marlin Hotel, Miami Beach, FLGroup
2003Bizen Yaki Engravings BALCo. Okayama, JapanSolo
2003BazaarCuchifritos Art Gallery, Lower East Side, NYGroup
2003What about New York? Agnes BGallerie Du Jour. Paris, France.Group
2003Two Rooms. José Parlá & Moi Tran Brooklyn Studio, NYGroup
2003Barnstormers: Hive Mind Sound SystemLump Gallery Projects, Raleigh, NCGroup
2003Final Modification 2Exrealm Yamaha Gallery, TokyoGroup
2002Chance by Choice: The point in space where all points meetThe Annex Space, Miami Design District, Art Basel, FLGroup
2002Extensions of the Spectacle Winter Music ConferenceAlbion Hotel, Miami Beach, FLGroup
2002BarnstormersMuseo de Arte de Puerto Rico, SanturceGroup
2002Boomerang: Lee Q.Rostarr, and Ease,Curated by Agnes B., Soho, NYGroup
2002Barnstormers: No Condition is PermanentSmack Mellon Gallery, Dumbo-Brooklyn, NYGroup
2002Identidad en ProgresoCarlos Irrizarry Gallery, San Juan, PR Solo
2002Personal AlphabetExrealm Yamaha Gallery, Tokyo, Japan Solo
2002Marked by InkStains bOb Gallery. L.E.S., NYCSolo
2001Art Miami Modern Primitive GalleryMiami Beach Convention Center, FLGroup
2000An Experimental Introduction to a Segmented RealityModern Primitive Gallery. Atlanta, GASolo
1999Inkheads: Sporadic Germination0000 113 Ludlow Street, NYCGroup
1997Scratching the SurfaceModern Primitive Gallery, Atlanta, GAGroup