Jose Parla


One of the ways in which I approach painting is with a dancing, fast-paced movement in each mark I make. My eye leads the way between the brush and each line's end. Language is the key to my work, and the performance of each work manifests the layers that make up the history of the painting. When commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music to paint a mural for the lobby of the new BAM Fisher building, I felt very honored, as I am from the same neighborhood and visit BAM often to see theater, music, films, and visual art shows. I also felt that my work was a perfect match with BAM's history of performing arts. While the work is in progress, I carefully add and subtract layers of writing through semi-opaque transparencies, which allow the history to be seen and also compared to the passing of time. The size of the work allows me to paint with my entire body being involved inside of it, as if I am in a world of colored fields. I work from left to right and back again, jumping, stretching my arms, sometimes scraping the surface with speed in each gesture to be able to make thinner lines and slowing down when I want thicker ones. The mural is heavily textured, with the likeness of a wall in the city, any city, and many cities, with a language that can be from anywhere, elsewhere, a language of expression, of freedom, for all visitors to see. The exciting part is to see the colors and layers build up over the days and to await the final dance that transforms performance into a painting.