“I was commissioned to do a piece for the lobby of the new BAM Fisher theater and proposed a painting about performance, gesture and dance. The 7-by-37-foot painting evokes the history of BAM and of the neighborhood. It’s like a sideway sunset stretching from BAM to the East River with a lot of calligraphic style and color. The lines move quickly across the surface through dense fields of yellows, reds and rustic deterioration.”
José Parlá is an art-world sensation, thanks to commissions for One World Trade Center, Barclays Center and the Standard High Line Hotel. His work has the look of old graffiti walls, like you might find in Havana—a reflection of his Cuban-American heritage. Time Out New York spoke with him about his career and current two-gallery show of new paintings, “Surface Body/Action Space,” at Mary Boone and Bryce Wolkowitz galleries.