Monday, April 4, 2011

Walls, Diaries, and Paintings



As many of you know, I have a love affair with graffiti. I recently saw an exhibition in NYC that really spoke to me and took the art of graffiti to a new level. Walls, Diaries, and Paintings, currently running through April 16th at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, is the work of Miami-born, Brooklyn-based artist Jose Parla. Parla has created 15 new, mixed-media works that document urban life in such diverse cities as New York, Istanbul, Havana, and Tokyo.

Using a combination of free-form, calligraphic markings and urban graffiti, Parla has recreated the sense of excitement, danger, and vibrancy inherent in city living. He has managed to capture both a sense of history and a feeling of modern edge at the same time.  

I always love when galleries are transformed and for this exhibition, the main hallway was used for a site specific installation that perfectly ushered you into the main room.


The pay phone was the perfect, authentic touch.


He has captured the essence of so many international cities and many of his pieces feel as though they could have been torn off the walls of a building.





Others pieces are more abstract in nature and make use of swirling and curling calligraphic markings.




The dimensionality and layers of city life are captured in wonderful, highly textured detail.


See additional images from this exhibition and read my brief review of the show on NearSay.

48 comments:

Lost Aussie said...

After my past weekends graffiti adventure I will definitely put this one on the must do list!

Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

The wall with the phone *swoons* If I had a loft. this would be my entryway. Seriously, I LOVE this!!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

omg.....
AMAZING.
Even that does not describe how I feel when I see this. It is texture of ages and voices and culture, all layered into a beautiful eroding piece.
I would have loved to seen this work in process....
Thanks for sharing!!!

XXOO~~
Anne

nance marie said...

i like it.

bridgette said...

wow, looks amazing! I'm finally seeing the graffit around me here in Chicago start to seep in my work. Before it was the natural rainy patina of Seattle, now it's the urban grunge of Chicago!
Have you seen Exit through the Gift Shop yet? I just saw it last month, very good.

bridgette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dyche Designs said...

Wow his work is stunning.

Kari Desi said...

Wow! Amazing. So many layers and textures.

La Dolce Vita said...

this is just awesome... thanks for always sharing with us...

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I am sorry to say we really do not have the incredible graffiti you have displayed here in our rural community. I also enjoy looking at the erosion factor in these photos. I do appreciate your sharing this process. Have a great week Seth! Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Parabolic Muse said...

This is a stunner, Seth. Off to visit and see more!
wow. I wonder if I want my house to look this cool...?!

Lisa said...

what a great exhibit..as if one was walking through the city streets..love it!

Kris said...

oh wow, how timely this is....not to mention inspiring. I've just begun my own graffiti adventure in my studio.
I even started a blog to keep track of it: http://graffitilunatic.blogspot.com/

Now I am off to glue some papers up!
Cheers!

wanda miller said...

TOO so very COOL!!!

Pam Tucker said...

Oh, I loved seeing these photos, Seth! I'm fascinated with graffiti right now. What an amazing exhibit that must be. Thank you for sharing these!

azirca said...

Fabulously awesome! I love the addition of the phone and the swirly calligraphic strokes.
How could you not be inspired, you must have been in graffiti heaven!

Janine said...

Love it!

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

Wow! Wow and WOW!! I'm buzzing over this. My next project is a graffiti based one and this is extremely inspiring! Great post...and lucky you going to see it!

Lynn said...

Amazing work. Wish I could see it in person.

Laura said...

Loving it to Seth, is it the laspes of time it shows or the layers of indiviual history or the marks one leaves that and draw one in...it's like the Cave paints almost...Life is tells is stories on the Walls.. thanks for sharing this...great pictures.

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

What a fabulous exhibit! The hallway/entrance way is my absolute favourite. What a way to take street art right into the gallery!!

ArtPropelled said...

It's always thrilling to see new work from Jose Parla and I'm imagining just how wonderful it must be to see it in person. Thanks so much for sharing, Seth.

michelle ward said...

omg! parla is one of my faves! i did not know about this show - thank you for the heads up and the gorgeous peeks. stunning. handsome. *swoon*

Keron Lee said...

i have to say Seth - I am totally torn betwixt & between by the whole 'nature' of graffiti/street art. we live in an outer suburb close to the end of the 'line' of public transport. As we live a little out of the township at the edge of a huge forestry tract (?preserve?), personally we don't experience it very much right on/at our own property. However, locally, all around our train station, shop walls, fences, churches, buildings, are 'tagged' with local graffiti. And honestly - it's a long way from art.....its closer & often more appropriately viewed as vandalism...... BUT having said that, there are some places in Melbourne CBD, that it is both approved & encouraged & the work that is on show there is fabulous.....innovative, creative, thought provoking......and YES - the aged patina is beautiful (i create backgrounds out of pics of this) ..
copy & paste this whole link if you'd like to see some of Melbourne's approved street art: http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/ForResidents/StreetCleaningandGraffiti/GraffitiStreetArt/Pages/StreetArtImageGallery.aspx

........acknowledging that it takes time, effort & process to develop your artistic 'voice' do we need to be 'tolerant' of this visually offensive, but formative work in order for the more evolved form to eventually be born?..........as I said.........betwixt & between. Great post. thanx xK

Kim Hambric said...

I would love to see this wonderful exhibit! I live in an area where the only things exhibited are dark, dank landscapes. Thanks for sharing this artist with us.

dosfishes said...

Fantastic artist Seth. Thanks for sharing. Lucky you to see the work up close and personal. xox Corrine

Bill said...

I guess graffiti could also be called grunge, only more detailed. I love grunge and graffiti. I agree with Keron Lee. It's a shame some people use graffiti to deface items or to declare hateful messages and whatever, although I guess that's a valid way for them to express what they are feeling inside. This exhibit, though, looks stunning! Thanks for sharing.

Stephanie said...

Fantastic...he captured the feel of years and time and memory.

Great installation...would love to see this. Thanks for sharing just in case I don't make it :)

improv cloth said...

Seth,
Thanks for "Walls, Diaries, and Paintings". Have you seen the film "Exit Through the Gift Shop". It won accolades at 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
It's a doc about the world street art movement, and really fascinating.
The artist Banksy was a prominent figure in the film. I may see his exhibit in LA at the end of the month.
Laura

The Artist Within Us said...

Dear Seth

Thank you for sharing the work of Jose Parla with us. I have been familiar with his work for some time however I was very surprised recently when I saw his recent work that has ventured into the graffiti, since his earlier paintings were large modern calligraphy drawings similar to Cy's paintings.

Needless to say, Jose's new collection is fully embraced by my heart as I just love what he has recreated.

Warmest regards,
Egmont

Lynn said...

Wouldn't it be fun to have a graffiti wall at home? Each persons entry way would invite others to add to it. Who dares do this? I'd love seeing my kids and grandkids additions to it...art for all ages through the ages. Now, if I could only talk my husband into the idea!

Susan M said...

Ohhhh... I'm in love!

Martha Marshall said...

I love graffiti too, Seth! Looks like this was a wonderful show. Like Mary Helen, we too live in the hinterlands and don't see a lot of it. But even farther out in the country from here is a big railroad car facility with stored cars lined up in rows next to the road. They are just alive with art!! I can't wait to photograph them.

Thanks for sharing this.

laurel said...

That is an amazing work of art. I can't even imagine how long it took to layer in all of the wonderful textures and elements.

Karin Bartimole said...

thank you for sharing these fabulous photos and info about this show Seth - it's amazing! So much texture, layering, color... I imagine that standing in that hallway allows the viewer to fully immerse themselves in the experience of the art, as close to stepping into it as one could get!! very cool :)

Twigart said...

I gravitate towards graffiti as well (currently building up a folder of photos on the subject) so it's great to see it represented in such a positive way here.

Joy Logan said...

also LOVED the collabrative in Somerset!!

rivergardenstudio said...

What I love the most here is the hallway, not to mention the colors and the way you can almost feel them. Thanks for this. roxanne

mansuetude said...

Love the payphone. Gesturing to the "streets".

Kathy McCreedy said...

Hey Seth! Awesome photos of the graffiti show! That's an exhibit I think I'd really enjoy seeing, but your photos will have to do... I'm inspired to go upstairs to the studio and make some background papers similar to the ones in your photos... they are rich in layers and tell us plenty, even though they have no overt message. Thank you for sharing these images with us... I can't decide which one I like the best!

Julie Prichard said...

Jose is awesome.. He has a hardcover book on pre-order. I've got a copy ordered of course :)

Dave said...

Cool stuff! Thanks for putting it up so we can all see!!

judipatootie said...

Amazing work.. i'd love to have a piece to live with! I havnet been to NY>>so thanks for sharing!!

deb said...

what a fabulous show. wish I lived closer to the big city :(

Gaby Bee said...

What a gorgeous exhibit! I wish I could see it in person. Thanks for sharing, Seth!

Happy Spring,
Gaby

Jane said...

I love this work = thank you - especially the black and white swirls - something I can learn from in my work, has a feeling about it that resonates - I'd love to know how he did it!

layers said...

I too love graffiti and am familiar with Jose Parla.. how lucky for you to see his works in person.

alteredbits said...

i LOVE these! they are right up my alley indeed (i share your adoration of graffiti). how wonderful it must have been to see these in person and to get to touch all of the layers. thank you so much for sharing, seth! so beautiful and edgy.