José Parra Menchón, ‘Ginés Parra,’ is one of the most internationally prestigious members of the School of Paris. His painting is the fruit of a very elaborate intellectual process, despite its apparent simplicity, and its images have the overwhelming strength of someone who paints from a real vital need.
His artistic training began at the Student’s League in New York and later continued at the École des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts) in Paris, where Louis Roger and Lucien Simon were his teachers. Earlier, he had taken a long journey through Algeria, Argentina and the United States, the countries that his parents had been forced to emigrate to, to escape from hunger.
Parra started working at a very early age, as a construction worker, a waiter, and a miner, spending his nights painting, his great passion. In 1916 he changed his name from José to Ginés, in honor of a brother who had died, and six years later he could already be considered a professional artist, after exhibiting in the Autumn Salon and the “Independents” Show in Paris. By that time he had formed strong friendships with such great masters as Pablo Picasso and Julio González, both of whom would have an influence on him.
At first, his painting was marked by the postulates of Cubism, but his geometric shapes began evolving towards compositions with a certain primitive air in which images of landscapes and human beings attract the spectator’s attention by means of brightly colored planes that delimit an emphatic drawing done with black brushstrokes.
He earned definitive international recognition in 1949 when he exhibited at the Witcomb Gallery in Buenos Aires. After that he also had shows in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Lima, returning to France in 1950 to settle in Provence, where he would remain until his death.
For many years, Ginés Parra’s work was not as well known in Spain as abroad, although it now enjoys the recognition it deserves in his native country. His fame and the value of his work have continued to grow through the years to what their present status: a world famous genius and a solid value for Art investors.