Parker Day's ICONS at Superchief Gallery
This Saturday, ICONS, a solo exhibition of 100 portraits by Parker Day, travels from Superchief Gallery's LA location to their New York one. The images of ICONS (featured in our December '16 issue) burst forth from the seamy underbelly of life in an explosion of lurid technicolor with a cast of characters played by club kids, internet personalities, and self-professed freaks. The un-retouched grit and grain of 35mm film packages fantastical content in palpable reality. Identity, and our ability to shape how we’re seen and in turn who we are, is central to the work. It’s communicated through costuming, symbols, and the emotional language of color, to connect in an intuitive and direct way that transcends artifice.
Parker Day’s preoccupation with identity performance began at an early age. She spent her childhood in her father’s comic book shop in San Jose, CA where underground comix, like those by R. Crumb, were forbidden to her. She didn’t dare open them but she’d catch glimpses of the covers and her imagination would run wild, filling in the characters’ personalities and what their stories might be. At home she’d play elaborate games of dress up to inhabit new roles and pose for her mom’s 35mm camera. She requested her own camera and would craft secret worlds populated by Barbies and stuffed animals to capture on film.