In a New York Times profile about Jose Parla, the artist not only discussed his mural for Brooklyn's Barclays Center—a graffiti-like piece spanning 70-feet long and 10-feet high—but he also talked about his insistence on not being labeled a street artist. “I’ve been fighting that term for years,” Parla said, who believes the term trivializes art. “It’s lazy.”
His complex mural, soon to be joined by an Ursula von Rydingsvard sculpture, is anything but lazy. The work has intricate interlaced colors and really attracts attention. “I hope people realize it’s full of language,” Parla said--and he means that literally. It also includes personal inscriptions with words like “immigration,” “Brooklyn Is,” “Big Daddy Kane,” and of course, “Jay-Z.”
Hov himself had to do with the commission. Sarah Lewis, an art adviser for the arena, promoted Parla for the piece. Jay-Z was already a fan of his work and backed the notion. After several site visits and sketches, he secured the job. We also bet it's hard to tell Jay-Z no. Six months of late night visits later, the mural was complete.
It's also worth mentioning that the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery is currently holding The Wrinkles of the City, a photograph series documenting Parla's 2012 collaboration in Havana between himself and artist JR. The exhibition runs until July 12.