Detail Amistad America Photo By Jose Parla 2017

Amistad América

We are proud to have artist José Parlá’s Amistad América mural in the prefunction space of our Zlotnik Family Ballroom. This 4,000-square-foot masterpiece is a stunning conversation piece and backdrop for elegant gatherings. Landmarks, The University of Texas at Austin’s public art program, commissioned this piece, which was finished in 2018. The information below from Landmarks shares more about the artist and artwork.

José Parlá, Amistad América, 2018

José Parlá is a critically-acclaimed, multidisciplinary artist in painting, large-scale murals, photography, video, and sculpture. He combines found ephemera with layers of paint and gestural drawing to evoke the histories of urban environments. Using the backdrop of world cities, Parlá creates abstractions that can appear to be photorealist fragments of what he sees in the chaos and rush of the metropolis.

Born in Miami in 1973, Parlá studied at Miami Dade Community College, New World School of the Arts, and Savannah College of Art & Design. His work has been exhibited internationally and includes major commissions for the Brooklyn Academy of Music and The One World Trade Center in New York. Public institutions that have collected his work include The British Museum; The Albright-Knox Art Gallery; POLA Museum of Art in Hakone, Japan; and The National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, Cuba. He is represented by Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York.

Parlá’s commission for Landmarks, Amistad América, is his most ambitious project to date, transforming a 25 x 160-foot wall in the new Robert B. Rowling Hall into a sweeping 4,000 square foot site-specific visual landscape. The mural was conceived as a narrative that evokes Austin’s natural environment and its urban cityscape, and it features Parlá’s characteristic traces of collage, pulled impasto surfaces, and signature calligraphic marks. In imagining Amistad América, Parlá was inspired by the history and natural landscape of Texas, whose name in Spanish, Tejas, derives from the Native American Caddoan word for “friends.”