José Parlá

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José Parlá (born 1973) started painting in the early 1980s, exhibiting his works in the streets of Miami. The Brooklyn based artist has been exhibiting internationally since 2000.


Parlá was born to Cuban parents in exile in Miami, Florida. He started painting in 1983, and in 1988 received a scholarship to the Savannah College of Art & Design.[1] He began painting on city walls using the name "Ease," following the tradition of New York subway art.[2]


His paintings incorporate calligraphy into pictures that resemble distressed city walls. Art historian Michael Betancourt divided his paintings into three categories: walls, diaries, and pictures. Walls are mural sized, diaries are smaller than walls, heavily filled with writing, and resemble a palimpsest. Pictures are the size of traditional paintings, but their visual contents resembles the walls but without the scale.[3] “What Parlá’s work provides to its viewers is a way to re-see the city and re-engage the value of urban life.”[4]


Solo Shows[edit]

Cityscapes, Al Moran, Miami, 2006

Adaptation / Translation, Elms Lester's Painting Rooms, London, 2008

Reading Through Seeing, Ooi Botos Gallery, Hong Kong, 2009

Walls, Diaries, and Painting, Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York, 2010

Character Gestures, OHWOW, Los Angeles, 2010

Broken Language, Haunch of Venison, 2013

Prose, Yuka Tsuruno Gallery, Tokyo, 2013


Exhibition Catalogs[edit]

  • Adaptation / Translation, Elms Lesters Paining Rooms, London, 2008
  • Layered Days, Cristina Grajales, Inc., New York, 2008
  • Reading Through Seeing, Ooi Botos Gallery, Hong Kong, 2009

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Jose Parla Interview, Fecal Face
  2. ^ Elms Lester's Painting Rooms, Jose Parla - ADAPTATION / TRANSLATION,
  3. ^ Michael Betancourt, The Assimilation of Traditions in the Painting of José Parlá,
  4. ^ Michael Betancourt, quoted on Elms Lester's Painting Rooms,