Art and culture platform ISTANBUL’74 has released a mini documentary on Cuban-American artist José Parlá. The short film captures Parlá creating work for his first-ever exhibition in Turkey titled “Isthmus.”
Parlá’s style transforms the language of the streets into a form of abstraction and urban realism. During his residency at ISTANBUL’74 in Istanbul, the artist was inspired by Turkish culture and some of the “masterful calligraphers in world history.” The Brooklyn-based artist created works that pay homage to a culture of calligraphers while imagining what, Parlá states, calligraphy “could look like and represent to future generations.”
The documentary shows the artist working on large-scale paintings, painting sculptures and collecting collage materials. As a culmination of his residency at ISTANBUL’74, “Isthmus” included new works on paper, paintings, sculptures, and ceramics. The word “Isthmus” refers to a narrow piece of land, with an expanse of water on either side, that connects two larger areas of land. As Istanbul lies in both Asia and Europe, Parlá saw the city as symbolically and physically connecting the East and West, a theme he explored in his work.
Watch ISTANBUL’74’s “ISTHMUS: Gestures Connecting Two Lands” in the gallery above.
In other art-related news, Artcurial will soon launch a sale of rare, original artworks by KAWS and other acclaimed DIY artists from the “Beautiful Losers” exhibition in 2004.