Kenton Parker is an LA-based conceptual artist working across a variety of media including installation, video, painting, drawing, and photography. His work is often described as overtly masculine, but perhaps it is better to say that the imagery and environments that Parker builds invoke the characteristics of both genders as they might play out in survivalist or pariah roles.
Take Always Sorry – Flower Shop a makeshift greenhouse with tools hanging from the walls, ribbon, bouquets, and live plants growing in the gallery—masculine in its construction perhaps, but contrastingly nurturing, with a clear sense of laborious careful tending, a feminine holistic view of weighing all the components together: resources, need, protection, and reaping.
Or in Room with a View a shanty built and filled with waste material and objects found discarded in the Hollywood hills along with tools and personal artifacts. Again, this has so often been described as masculine, even perverse in hermeticness and dark isolation, and its crude almost violent build, but perhaps that is only because the limits of our imagination preclude whatever implied life-story the dweller of such an abode might have as possibly belonging to a woman. It is easier to think that such calamity would befall a man who would reside here with his strange tools and fetishes. And yet, again here the viewer finds softer moments, aesthetic considerations and a prolonged resilience that may lean more to the fairer sex.
Regardless of gender, Parker creates narratives of the outcast with equal parts humor and angst. In doing so, he strikes at the fundamentals of being human that rise to the occasion when extremes like societal severance require it, and along the way questions societal structures of perfectionism and achievement that leave many behind.
Kenton Parker’s works are collected and exhibited widely. The artist has a particularly strong presence in Miami and LA—locations that often serve as a point of inspiration and bizarre lux backdrop to his grittier creations. Recent projects include exhibitions at SCOPE New York, Art Basel, Miami, and a constant string of solo exhibitions in Los Angeles.