This caffeinated, cat-cuddling, object-hunting photographer stunned us with their vibrant color palettes and memorable style. Los Angeles–based photographic artist Parker Day explores the angst of our potential selves. Many of their objects are thrifted, and each photograph is a collaboration with the subject, allowing them to let the thrift speak through the both of them, finding objects to create a cohesive and out-there image.
Someday we all hope to venture out to California and work with this talented photographer and their cat, Oracle, but for now we'll settle for this interview.
Day prefers to work with subjects who aren't afraid to get a little crazy. We asked Day to conceive a list of their top five criteria for their collaborators:
- Be a visual artist or actor/performer
- Have a dark fire in your eyes
- Don't be too attached to your persona
- Have an expressive face, stretchy like silly putty
As a "free-range kid," Day's mother allowed them to pursue their own interests. They always made art with whatever supplies were available, and can remember the vivid greens, blues, yellows, and reds of their finger paint.
With a mom who took Day to museums, and a dad who owned a comic book store, it's no wonder that this photographic artist was able to develop their bold and unique eye.
"Anyone who thrifts knows you can’t go with a shopping list. You must become one with the thrift and let the thrift speak to you. Objects are a major influence, probably my number-one inspiration."
Whenever Day is looking for specific objects, they take to Amazon. One of their favorite objects is a flail, a giant spiky ball on the end of a chain. They used the flail in one shoot, but continue to use it for Renaissance festival dress-up.
When working a photo shoot, Day utilizes Paul Buff strobe lights, and either a Canon EOS-3 or a Contax 645, plus only Zeiss lenses, and Kodak Ektar film. They always enjoy having LaCroix on deck and music playing, but that can range from Britney Spears to Ministry.
Day identifies as a sensitive introvert. They feel things intensely, but privately. One of their proudest moments was the opening of their first ever solo show. The show was for the series ICONS, which is featured above and below.
"I got a call from my gallerist. I could hear a big smile in his voice, so I knew the news was good . . . A single collector based in NYC had bought a set of all one hundred portraits—the entire ICONS series! I was so overjoyed, I dropped to my knees in my living room and cried happy tears."
Do you believe in ghosts?
"Yes and no."
"Yes and no."
What's the last dream you can remember?
"Something about being in a skyscraper as a city floods and doomsday approaches. Fun!"
Your favorite virtue?
"This is boring as shit, but I really value efficiency."
Your main fault?
Your idea of happiness?
"Happiness is cheap. I'm more interested in freedom and power."
If not yourself, who would you be?
"No one at all. No self."
What's your current state of mind?
Follow this caffeinated genius on Instagram.