Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery is pleased to present The Wrinkles of the City, Havana, Cuba, a recent collaboration between JR and José Parlá.
The Wrinkles of the City was started by JR in Cartagena, Spain and has been reprised in Shanghai, Los Angeles, and most recently, Havana. In 2012, JR and Parlá photographed and interviewed dozens of senior citizens who lived through the Cuban revolution, flyposting colossal black-and-white portraits of their subjects on the walls of city buildings. Parlá, who is of Cuban descent, interlaces the images with palimpsestic, calligraphic writings and color. In a city devoid of commercial imagery, JR and Parlá's enormous yet intimate portraits offer a stunningly humane contrast to the endless repetition of political icons.
This exhibition will consist of twelve large portraits from the Havana iteration of The Wrinkles of the City project along with a site-specific installation.
Since 2004, the French artist JR has traveled the world creating monumental portraits of ordinary citizens. He is widely considered one of the most influential and visionary of all street artists. JR was awarded the prestigious TED prize in 2011. A documentary film about JR's Inside Out, a global art project providing people the opportunity to share their portrait and a statement of what they stand for, was shown at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. His other projects include Women Are Heroes, Face 2 Face, and Portrait of a Generation.
José Parlá has received critical acclaim for his paintings, which lie at the boundary between abstract marking and calligraphy. Composed from layers of paint, gestural drawing and found ephemera, his work evokes the histories of urban environments. He was recently commissioned by the Barclays Center in Brooklyn (January 2013) and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (September 2012), as well as having recently held solo exhibitions at Haunch of Venison (London, UK) and Yuka Tsuruno Gallery (Tokyo, Japan). In 2013, Parlá was added to the collection of the British Museum, (London, UK). José Parlá lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
The Wrinkles of the City, Havana, Cuba, which was commissioned for the 11th Havana Biennial, has been made into a book published by Damiani/Standard Press, as well as a film, which will be on view at the gallery.