José Parlá on Collective Memory
Bringing both art to the streets and street art to white cube gallery spaces, artist José Parlá's observations of society and his environment go all the way back to the walls of his childhood, as he appreciated society's efforts to hide deteriorating concrete by plastering fresh coats of paint on top. Actively involved in hip-hop's underground art culture since the age of ten, his practice aims to change the misperception of graffiti and Street Art as vandalism, reinstating how Street Art is the people's Art; an Art that is in tune with the times and a visual representation of the effects of politics on society.
His solo showcase 'Textures of Memory' is his take on society's collective memory of which life and Art seem to dissolve, integrating seamlessly and beautifully within the layers of paint on city walls over time. Parlá's artworks simulate the process of decay through time, resulting in incredible textures on his canvases from the aggressive tearing down of posters and advertisements from walls that leave fragments of paper and adhesive residue to build up along with layers of writings and paint.
We spoke with the artist on the occasion of his Hong Kong exhibition to find out more about his inspirations.