Friday, October 2, 2009


Grass Roots by Jose Parla

Jose Parla refers to his work as "a contemporary palimpsest". Looking into the detail photograph below you can see the layer upon layer of flowing calligraphy like markings.... contemporary palimpsest indeed.

Between the earthly and the divine

(Detail) Between the earthly and the divine.

"My work is inspired by the anonymous art found in the streets. The art is often in the form of calligraphy or the actions of torn or stripped posters."

"The inscriptions in my work are used as a form of drawing, and to maintain a record of my observations. In my travels I have encountered a similar dialogue that takes place in most cities. I find compositions on surfaces of deteriorated walls, and remnants of construction markings. In my paintings I create layers and textures representing the age of memories collected through different periods of my life. Evidence is left on walls by fleeting creators both aware of their message, and oblivious to what I may find in their signs. Still, they remain mostly unidentified. When working on my paintings I imagine that different people are making choices to write, paint or destroy the surfaces."


"The process in my work is similar to that of the city. The work builds its foundation through memory. In order to create a good painting you must put a lot of history in the piece. With my work the details are within the layers. Each layer tells its own story. I do everything from collage, to using charcoal, oil and acrylic paints, pens, markers, aerosol, etc. I try to step away from myself and imagine the perspective of other people, the look and feel of other environments rather than just my own." - from an interesting interview on Fecal Face Dot Com

I love this photograph of the artist in his studio. See Jose's website here .


  1. Right up my ally! I love mark making, of course these colors too. Thanks for another good one Robyn!

  2. Thank you Robyn for sharing this artists work with us.

    A few years back, I recall his work appearing in a calligraphy magazine and I was much taken by what I saw. I feel like having reconnected with a lost friend.

    Thank you

  3. Oh. WOW. Me, too, I'm swooning. I really like that second one, especially.

    He's brilliant.

  4. I think I just fainted from too much fabulous goodness! remarkable work!

  5. An interesting area someplace between the heavy and the light. It is almost three dimensional. I can only imagine how it looks when seeing it in person.

  6. Wow! Thanks for another great introduction to a new artist. I love this kind of work. It somehow seems very musical to me.

  7. Leslie, I thought of you when I found these.

    Egmont, glad you could reconnect.

    Willow, it's a swoon fest!

    Jeane, lol

    Lisa, it must be a completely different experience to see them in person.

    Annie, yes, musical makes sense.

  8. Oh my God Robyn, what a find!!!
    If the work is so mesmerizing on the net, i can't imagine how much more so in real life. Really takes my breath away this.
    Gotta check out the links right now...

  9. fabulous inspirational visual calligraphy dances. love it all!!!

  10. I feel like I could pick the layers off the page one layer at a time! incdedible! lyle

  11. So interesting and so different - I have never seen anything quite like them before but I do love the concept behind them.

  12. Oh Lord,, I have added Jose Parla to my list of artists to follow-- absolutely love his mark making and earthy colors.

  13. The last photo is wonderful, in my eye I saw the hair of a nymph trailing behind a she ran through the forest laughing.......

    Ive never seen this artist before; I like it!

  14. At first it reminded me of the song, "I've Come Undone" ...
    ..then after more examination like unraveling in reverse..

    it is very exciting! and really glad I clicked on the studio...

  15. Swoon is right! These are incredible. Everything, just everything about them appeals too me. You are a master at unearthing the most beautiful things Robyn. I don't know how you do it but I'm SO glad you do - Thank you for finding and sharing these!

  16. His work is so intense, that until you showed him in his studio, I did not get a sense of perspective.

    You always find the BEST artists.
    And I am so pleased he finds inspiration in street art and stuff otherwise relegated to acts of vandalism.

  17. I love them all - especially brothers back to back - but most of all I love his studio :)

  18. This is just simply gorgeous stuff, Robyn.

    Great find!

  19. brothers back to back.....just want to looking deeply and carefully at person, too. thanks.....

  20. Robyn, My mind is already buzzing with ideas from this latest entry and artwork. I love using your blog for inspiration for my artist pages. i'll send you the link when I have done the art.
    Thanks for sharing
    Lots of love from susan in australia

  21. Contemporary twist to the usual calligraphy we see... love it.

    Jacky xox

  22. Priya, It would be gobsmacking to see these canvases in person.

    Lisa, exactly!

    Lyle, glad you enjoyed them've been awfully quiet :-)

    Weaver, palimpsest is a wonderful concept ... layer upon layer.

    Donna, the colours are so divine aren't they.

    Dave, the hair of a nymph trailing .... :-)

    Gwen, glad you peeped into the studio... it inspires me.

    Kenda, always a pleasure.

    Grrl, he can scribble on my walls anytime.

    Pink Dogwood, aah the studio...

    Debrina, I agree, great find :-)

    Nancy, they need to be looked at enlarged. A pity his site isn't up and running.

    Susan, now that is wonderful to hear .... please keep on being inspired.

  23. I'm speechless err wordless...I love this work...the background and this writing...I added his site to my favorites...thanks to you!

  24. Applause!! His marks are so graceful. I'm transfixed.

  25. Lovely post yet again! Always a lovely visit. I too find myself drawn to text although I am rarely satisfied by what the text actually says...sometimes it's better left unread. That said sometimes just one word can hold all the power and completely make the artwork. I love Jose studio...imagine going there each day!

  26. Another inspiring artist. I love words and gestural "handwriting" in painting. What can be more unique and individual than letting go with one's own strokes.

    And to get such luminous results!

  27. Robyn, Here is the art that I was inspired to do from this post...
    Now I notice there is another one. Goodness I can't keep up. Onwards I go to check it out and see what I come up with.lots of love from susan in australia

  28. I love your blog, Robyn. Thank you for sharing Jose Parla's gorgeous art, and for introducing me to a new word, "palimpsest!"

    I love the post on dots, too. (Since I have a special affinity in my own work to them.)

  29. I'm drawn to the wood type. Maybe because my grandfather owned a community newspaper for 37 years. He sent his weekly paper out to be printed, but I love the idea of having a letterpress and being able to produce my own work.

  30. my god my god my god. This is so kickass! and if you look closely at his work his strokes have so much life that they almost look like they are moving.And thanx for that link of his tudio- its blown my brains to smithereens- woooaaah!