On display at OH WOW Gallery is José Parlá's latest exhibition Character Gestures, which includes multiple paintings, mono-transfers and installations. This show marks a departure from Parlá's previous street or graffiti work and is dominated by the calligraphy gestures he's known for. As an admirer to the late Cy Towonbly, Parlá pays homage to the American Master through his distressed architectural surfaces layered with hieroglyphics text.
Parlá's paintings are so saturated with media that they inadvertently transform into a wall sculpture of bright colors and texture. Multiple layers of pigments and abstract shapes are built upon a background that begins with a single hue. The result is mass amounts of volume. "You feel as though you can put your hand in the piece and pull something else out of it", notes Parlá.
Though his large scale paintings were the focus of the evening, another highlight was a series entitled Painter's Rag installed throughout the gallery. Comprised of cut-up fabrics the artist used to wipe the edges of paintings or to absorb color, these sculptural pieces were stacked in bundles and hung in various spots. Other notable installations were three fragmented sidewalk pieces that look as if Parlá dug them up himself, but were actually created here in LA. Each named for three different cities (Bangkok, Bronx and LA), there are specific engravings in each sidewalk hinting to its referred location.
Character Gestures runs until October 22nd. Be sure to view this important body of work in person. You won't be disappointed.