Parker Day
b. 1984 San Jose, California
Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA

Parker Day is a Los Angeles based photographic artist whose work explores identity and the masks we wear. Through costuming and exaggerated expressions, Day toys with the truth of who and what she portrays. The tension between pushing the limits of self creation and maintaining authenticity is central. She captures the feeling of childhood dress-up games, where there’s freedom to become something else. This freedom is often lost in adulthood as identity becomes more and more fixed in the individual. That fixity of self can lead to angst over unrealized potential selves. It’s this angst that underpins Day’s work and drives her desire to connect with alternate selves. Day insists on in-camera capture on film, making real the fantasy created for the photograph.

Influenced by comic book and advertising aesthetics, Day uses kitsch and nostalgia as a foundation of familiarity to build upon. Growing up in her dad’s comic book store, it was covers by R. Crumb and Charles Burns that most captured her young imagination. Never daring to read these forbidden adult comics, she’d instead invent stories about the colorful characters found on their covers. Day sees her portrait subjects in much the same way; filled with power and mystery. The unknown is perceived through an eye-catching candy coating of color, luring the viewer in through artifice.

In 2017 Day presented her debut series, ICONS, in solo shows at Superchief Gallery in both New York and Los Angeles. The work was collected in a monograph published by NOT A CULT which is now in its second edition. Her work has been featured in print publications such as Juxtapoz and The New Yorker. She’s currently working on a new series, Possession, which will be completed in late 2018. 

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