Despite the humidity and the showers that plagued New York last week, a crowd of well-wishers and art enthusiasts filled the Standard Plaza at the hotel’s High Line location to celebrate the opening of artist José Parlá’s Segmented Realities outdoor installation there. “The title just comes from the idea of this kind of segmented fragment that you experience and you move on, but it lives in your memory, so I thought about how ephemeral that is, not only the moment, but also the surfaces, but how can you retain that outside of just a photographer, picture or photograph?” explained Parlá.
The three sculptures, giant concrete slabs coated with layers of epoxy resin, follow Parlá’s spring exhibition of the same name at the High Museum in Atlanta. Parlá had been working on them for the last four months in Rhode Island. Parlá eschewed the use of brushes, using his hands to shape the thick paint.
The sculptures represent the translated memories from various parts of his upbringing — San Juan, Puerto Rico where he lived as a child; Miami, Florida, where he was born and raised; and Havana, Cuba, where his family is from. “They play the role of immigration, and the translation of that is what these pieces are, here in New York City, so it carries the history of like who we are as people, who I am as a person, so they’re very biographical,” said the artist.
For those who want to take a piece of Parlá home, the Standard Shops, Parlá and Scottish manufacturer Begg & Co collaborated on cashmere scarf covered with his colorful abstract collage, “Habana y Cuarteles, 2015” that comes in a limited edition of 250 and will be available at the Standard Shops.
For more information, visit standardculture.com.