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Combining the elegance of calligraphy with the energy of the urban streets, José Parlá has evolved from graffiti writer to fine artist, in the process creating his own unique vision. Helio talks to Parlá about the evolution of his work.

("Passage Through Memory", mixed media on wood, 4' x 6')

Helio: Let's start with how you feel your work has been evolving over the years, which direction it's moved in and where it initiated.

Parlá: On a subconscious level my work was initiated when I was 9 years old in Miami, Florida. I was influenced directly with what was going on in my neighborhood. I saw amazing colorful paintings on walls, trucks, the park, the school yard and around the streets of the neighborhood in Cutler Ridge. Soon I understood this was a style of art I could get into. I became a writer in the year 1983 and have been painting since then.

("Passage Through Memory" detail, mixed media on wood, 4' x 6')

Throughout the years my work has evolved by practicing new ideas and techniques related to calligraphy styles. In the early 1990s my brother Rey Parlá made a film titled Sporadic Germination. It is a Super 8mm hand-painted scratch film. To see the way the layers function in the films in terms of movement was inspiring to me. I had been studying painting at SCAD in Savannah, Georgia, and also at The New World School of the Arts in Miami. My brother had been taking many pictures for years and also making films. When I came back to visit Miami I ended up with a studio on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach and this is where my brother says I taught him about the layering of a painting and its history; it stuck with him.

My professors in these schools stressed that a good painting must contain much history. I interpreted that what they meant by history was a history told through a procedure of layering, a kind of storytelling.

See and read more after the jump...
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April 16, 2007 at 3:46 pm
Posted in Interview, Parlá
Posted by Helio

Almost 20 Questions/Comments for The Shins

With their new album blowing up the charts and a tour in progress, James Mercer of The Shins took time out to answer some pivotal inquiries.

Helio interrogates after the jump...
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March 16, 2007 at 11:55 am
Posted in Interview, Music, Shins
Posted by Helio