With José Parlá unveiling a new exhibition at The Bronx Museum of the Arts this month, we thought it a good time to take a look back at one of our favorite installations by the artist. Segmented Realities, commissioned by The Standard High Line in 2014.
Miami-born, Brooklyn-based artist, José Parlá began painting under the name Ease in the 1980s. While attending art school in Savannah, he returned home in 1992 to help his family recover from Hurricane Andrew ~ an event that we also experienced. While in Miami, he continued his education at New World School of Art, and it was at this time that that the idea to do ‘wall sculptures’ originated, while José was working on a video project with his brother, Rey. The project, also titled ‘Segmented Realities‘ was a video showing José painting on walls around Miami. Flipping the script, his thought was that if walls can be canvasses, then why not fabricate canvasses that look like walls?
Parlá moved forward with this idea, and began working on Segmented Realities with his gallery, Bryce Wolkowitz. The project grew to include another set of ten sculptures for the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, and an installation along the Malacon in Havana entitled Wrinkles of the City, with fellow-artist, J R, for the Biennial.
For The Plaza at The Standard, High Line, the artist created three of his largest works. Each segment representing cities held dear from his youth ~ Havana, Miami and San Juan.
A closeup of the installation (above) reveals layers of pastels and personal iconography ~ a sort of scrapbook of his life in each location.
In addition, the artist was working on a major mural project (90 x 15 feet) for the lobby of One World Trade Center! (image below).
We’re looking forward to José Parlá: Its Yours, on view at The Bronx Museum of the Arts from September 9, 2020 through January 10, 2021.
Follow José Parlá on Instagram.