Meet Jose Parla

Jose Parla is our homeboy. He is also a world renowned artist with exhibitions that have taken him to London, Paris, and Tokyo. His work is unorthodox and distinct — a sampling of calligraphy, graffiti, and personal inspirations hinting the soul of a city. The psycho geographical work is something Jose describes as “segmented realities” or “memory documents”… constructing layer upon layer upon layer culminating into a visual narrative.

We’re just happy he takes the time to make cool products for The Standard shop. His items are limited edition works of art so we suggest you snatch a scarf or T-shirt before they vanish. We caught up with the Cuban-American artist based in New York to ask a few questions about what sets off his creative mind.

The Standard: What would you say are the 5 main ingredients that inform your work? Inspirations? Materials? Concepts? Whatever?

The five main ingredients that inform my work are: Life in the city, knowledge and amnesia, travel, primitivism and modernity, ritual and engineering, angst and spectacle, culture and critique.

Can you explain your Standard collaborations, and merging your voice with what The Standard brand represents? What would you like to make next for us?

My collaborations with The Standard are simple. They’re about sharing art and being part of a community that I love and respect. Next I’d like to make a beach towel, I already have an idea for it… or something even bigger, like a Standard helicopter, or an airplane!

How do you prepare the studio to get “in the mood” to paint?

For those who know me, they know I’m always playing music at my studio. Happy music mostly but recently I’ve been in a very romantic mood playing Los Zafiros. If I’m in the studio I’m always in the mood to paint.

At what times do you receive your best inspiration, and what do you suppose triggers it?

What mostly triggers me to paint is an idea that randomly appears in my thoughts. These ideas are triggered mostly by experiences that cause me to be emotional in a positive or negative way. Even if the emotion is a negative one, I feel [the need] to change that, and make something which can enrich my life, and use the feeling for my colors, gestures and marks.

What projects are you working on now?

Recently I’ve been working between two studios. One where I make my normal projects and paintings and the other is where I’m specifically making two gigantic paintings each 12 feet high. One is 33 feet long and the second one is 65 feet long. I call it the Concord Project and these are a commission destined for the City of Toronto, Canada. I am also working on paintings destined for OHWOW’s “It Ain’t Fair” exhibition in Miami this Art Basel Miami Beach. Also… way in advance… I’ve been working on my solo show in February of 2011 at Bryce Wolkowitz gallery.

To follow Jose, go to Jose Parla Official Site, or