Jose Parla and His Work

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José Parlá

José Parlá is a modern contemporary artist born in 1973 Miami, Florida. Parlá began painting in 1983 and by 1988 he was accepted into the Savannah College of Art and Design’s scholarship program. He used this experience to extend his art making by combining concepts he already knew as a self taught artist and concepts he learnt from the Savannah College.

Parlá’s works are huge canvases (usually 4x6ft) painted in a way that makes you wonder what it is that lurks under all the layers, how it is created and why it was made. His pieces are thick, layers upon layers of scratchy dark ink and paint. His technique is so perfected that he is still able to turn the dark into colourful and beautiful pieces with multiple thick layers of Arabian calligraphy carefully scrawled across the canvas.

Through his work Parlá intends to create an original, story-like scaffold of his own memories and personal experiences. He visually documents events and ideas through his works. He quotes these as ‘Segmented Realities’. “I am using my imagination to capture the psychology of a segmented reality. These realities, which are deposited into our subconscious every day, are the basis for dialogue that goes mostly un-noticed. Once these ‘Segmented Realities’ are transferred or converted into paintings they become a ‘memory Document’; a sort of time capsule for my experience in history”- José Parlá Quote:

This quote explains that Parlá uses his memory and experiences as the main concept of his work. Another large contributing factor to his work is the influence of Urban or ‘Street’ art. Growing up and living in Miami there was always some form of ‘Anonymous Art’ found on the street. Parlá was intrigued by this. Once he moved to New York City, this art became a huge influence for his groundbreaking pieces. Parlá has also quoted that “My influences come from life’s many new introductions to new conditions. Seeing new...
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