Based on an exhibition at SCAD Museum of Art presents the artist’s relationships to the rich contexts of cities he’s visited and the experiences that shaped his practice. Grounded in Parlá’s personal first generation Cuban American immigrant family story and an ever-evolving practice that concerns elsewhere communities and their contribution to America, Roots offers a new visual relationship with its pictorially contemplative environment to consider connections between local history, one’s past, present, and the future; to imagine or ever create one’s own universal truth and personal harmony now more than ever. Parlá produces a gestural landscape with juxtaposed characters, hieroglyphs and words within both paintings and sculptures that are deliberately created to serve as a carrier of meaning. The titles of his works often create playful connotations as signifiers to specific places or times, thus becoming a key element to decode the work. Parlá’s grandfather was an aviation pioneer who flew between Key West and Mariel, Cuba on a bi-plane made of sugarcane and bamboo, which he named Caña Brava . The Cuban aviator’s legacy continues to serve as an inspiration to the artist and his family. Parlá spent his formative years immersed in the thriving underground art scenes of Miami, while traveling often to other cities like: Beijing, Havana, Istanbul, New York, Paris, Sydney, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, London, and San Juan, amongst many other countries where the multicultural environment and social processes deeply impacted his perception of urban space. In his practice, like his grandfather’s flight between the U.S and Cuba in 1912, José Parlá highlights the cultural bonds between communities and the expression thereof.
96 pages. Hard cover. 25.1 x 30.1 cm
Published October 2017 by Damiani Editore