Victory, 2010
5 x 10 feet collage, acrylic, plaster, enamel spray paint, plaster and ink on canvas.

José Parlá says: “This piece has a lot to do with New York. It is made with posters that I collected from around Chinatown, Williamsburg, the Bronx, and Coney Island. It’s just tiny bits, but you can see that there’s Hebrew lettering, Chinese posters, that there’s Italian imagery, and that there’s different things that are happening throughout the city that really is so mixed.

"For a series like this, I start thinking and collecting for the whole series, not just one specific painting. So I’m thinking, 'I’m going to need certain elements, so I start to go around collecting posters around the city' and then I take the pieces apart. I have a tub and sink that I use to soak them and then little by little, they come apart. So then I have all of these pieces that I use on the paintings. I’ll concentrate on one thing, and then on the other, creating the whole show as a body of work. I do have a lot of thought behind the work, so they’re not just a pure abstraction. The show was probably built over a year, a process of setting myself up to be spontaneous. There’s a balance between thought, preparation, and then spontaneity."