PARLA STUDIOS is the Brooklyn-based space of artist duo and brothers José Parlá and Rey Parlá. The duo started their collaborative careers early in their lives while they discovered and took part in the "writing culture" of the 1980s Miami underground art scene. This digital space, their most recent collaboration, is dedicated to their continued dialogue, experimentation, and the exploration of original ways of creating inspiring works and making accessible art collectibles.
The Parlá brothers were born in the early 1970s to Cuban parents in Miami, Florida, and spent their early childhood in Puerto Rico before returning to the United States. In the 90s, José and Rey went their separate ways to study art, sharing ideas and concepts often while traveling with friends and returning home to South Florida to collaborate on several shows and projects.
The brothers’ collaborative dialogues cemented together during the founding of the InkHeads artist collective in 1992 and the making of two shorts on Super 8mm film with the first being titled: An Experimental Introduction to a Segmented Reality and the second film also by Rey titled: Sporadic Germination, which led the brothers and the group of friends on to other show openings like Sporadic Germination (same title as the 8mm film) and Personal Alphabet in New York City's Lower East Side in 1998 when they moved to New York City.
In 2002, the Parlá brothers and friends collaborated in the groups shows entitled: Extensions of the Spectacle in Miami Beach and Chance by Choice in Wynwood, 2003. In addition, they worked together in the multi-media and interdisciplinary collaborative project, The New Grand Tour, which was first exhibited in China and then shown in New York City from 2007-2010. Collaborations such as Parlá Frères at Colette in Paris in 2012, Wrinkles of the City, Havana, Cuba with friend and artist JR as part of the 12th Havana Biennial in 2012 also followed.
In 2014 the Parlá brothers collaborated with architecture and design firm Snøhetta on the build-out of their Brooklyn Studio, and in 2015 they produced the experimental documentary film, One: Union of the Senses based on the mural commission of José Parla’s painting at One World Trade Center in New York City. The film had its world premiere at The Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Rey Parlá is known for his series of photographic paintings he calls Scratch-Graphs inspired from his visual music films that have been exhibited in international film festivals and along his recent exhibition installations like Borderless at Happy Lucky No. 1 Gallery in (Crown Heights, Brooklyn), Intentions Clear Edition Gallery in (Tokyo, Japan), and Multiplicities with Ben Rubi Gallery (New York City). Rey screened his silent film Sporadic Germination along with Stan Brakhage’s work and others like Jose Antonio Sistiaga (Spain) at the 12th Annual Miami International Film Festival: The Avant-Garde Returns, 1994. Rey, the older brother, is also proudly known for photographing his brother José.
José Parlá is known for forming a hybrid painting style of abstract calligraphy and urban realism. His work has been exhibited in solo shows in New York, London, Tokyo, Seoul, and Hong Kong galleries. Recently, exhibitions have been on view at the High Museum of the Arts with Segmented Realities, National YoungArts Foundation, Miami in collaboration with SCAD Museum to present Roots, the exhibition Isthmus presented by Istanbul74’ as part of the Istanbul Biennial, and at The Bronx Museum of the Arts with It’s Yours, 2020.
As a unique, multifaceted unit, the duo developed creative partnerships worldwide to incorporate an original visual language inspired by their identities and their urban roots in the United States.
The brothers’ kinship is one built around an ongoing conversation on collaboration, artists, social justice, society, and art history.