Parker Day

Feb 14th, 2017

Parker Day


Parker Day is a Los Angeles based artist whose work explores identity and the masks we wear. Her focus is on fictionalized portraiture shot exclusively in studio on 35mm film. She is currently completing ICONS, a series of 100 character portraits, which will be presented in a solo shows in Los Angeles and Portland in 2017, along with the release of her first monograph, published by not a cult.

Tell us about the images that we’re featuring?

I picked some selections from ICONS, my series of 100 character portraits shot on 35mm film. They’re beautiful freaks that I adore, part fantasy and part reality, captured in my lurid world.

(how) does technology affect your photography?

“All film/no photoshop” is my motto. Overly retouched and digitized images are so listless and milquetoast. Even when they’re “pretty” they’re just that: pretty,hollow shells with shiny coating. I want grit and guts.

(how) does social media affect you and your art?

Instagram is a great vehicle for visual communication and has really launched my art. I also use it to search for new people I want to shoot and screencapping bits of inspiration.

What are you working on right now?

I’m completing ICONS which will be shown at Superchief gallery in Los Angeles in February and Screaming Sky gallery in Portland in April. I’m also putting together the ICONS book which I’m eager to share.

Why did you start taking photos?

When I was a kid my mom was always snapping photos with a bulky Nikon SLR she bought when I was born. I wanted to take photos myself but she wasn’t about to put her beloved Nikon in my greasy paws so she got me Kodak disposables. I would arrange my toys in charming tableaux and shoot them, compiling the drugstore prints in albums. She finally gave me that Nikon when I took my first photography class in high school.

What does the future hold for your work?

I have a cat named The Oracle but his predictions are mostly centered on his food bowl.

How do you determine if a work has been a success?

If I’m satisfied with it. Money and the likes are gravy.

What was the worst reaction you have had to your work?

Any reaction is a good one if you ask me. I have had exactly one pet hater. Some teenage sk8er boi kept digging into me on social media and his biggest burn (highest compliment in my mind) was when he called what I do “cringe art.” Like, yes, thank you, can I quote you for my dust jacket?