The Cuban-American Artist Takes Us Out of the Gallery and on to London’s Concrete Streets: Concrete sculptures and large-format expressionistic paintings that combine collected ephemera with layered oils and graffiti-style brushstrokes bring the streets into the gallery for José Parlá’s exhibition Broken Language, opening today at Haunch of Venison in London. In this documentary short, the New York-based, Miami-born artist mines inspiration from the pavements of Hackney for this latest solo show, giving us a peak into his signature practice of recording the urban environments he visits in his multimedia works. “London spirals and circles,” observes the artist of the crazy, unplanned structure of the UK capital that is reflected in the dynamic wall-sized pieces currently on display there. “There are veins of alleyways and streets that go in different directions, and you have to know the routes to get around.” Parlá has been visiting the city since the late 90s, and notes how both the natural and built environments have a distinct impact on its inhabitants in comparison to his adopted home. “The infrastructure is different, the colors are different, the vegetation is different, the grey skies are different—and when you have light, it’s very special,” says Parlá, who makes multiple trips to a locale when studying it for his creations. “There is a lot of psychology that goes with how a city is built.”
Broken Language runs at Haunch of Venison, London through March 28.