Parker Day -“Where’s the Party?” (Subject: Cameron Tyme Edison) from the series ICONS
I believe identity is a malleable construct, the invention of which I explore through photography. I costume my subject and craft a narrative about the character they’re becoming. When they step outside of who they think they are, something new and authentic comes through. I’m looking to capture that presence, true emotion caught in the trappings of a manufactured circumstance.
Despite it’s saturated hues and often humorous subjects, there’s a darkness and gentle undercurrent of rage that permeates my work. I’m interested in the idea that we have the power to shape our own realities but despite our abundant potential, we often feel beset by our circumstances. This gives rise to tensions and inner conflicts. It’s these feelings of frustration and the search for meaning I want to explore in the face of the absurdity of our existence.
“Where’s the Party” started when Cameron messaged me, saying she wanted to be a “gender fucked pop 50s greaser boi”, even drawing a sketch of what she envisioned. When she arrived for the shoot, that persona came to life through our collaborative styling, hair and makeup wizardry on the spot. I provided the wardrobe, including an old comic book tee that belonged to my dad decades ago. My directions while shooting were “more lecherous!” Bad posture! Chin down, looking up, leering.” Cameron tapped into an intensity that is simultaneously seductive and repulsive, just what I wanted.
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. She deliberately eschews Photoshop in favor of in-camera capture on film. Lurid color bathes her work and heightens the surreality of her subjects while the grain and grit of the photographs make them palpably real.
Parker Day’s series of 100 portraits entitled ICONS is being shown in solo shows in Los Angeles, New York, and Portland in 2017. Selections from the body of work have been shown in group shows internationally. not a cult. is proudly publishing the forthcoming ICONS monograph. Parker has received press from publications such as The New Yorker, Juxtapoz, Vice, i-D, Paper, and Dazed, among many others.