Join MASS MoCA Senior Curator Susan Cross for a conversation & book signing with photographer Xtina Parks. Parks’ new book, ROAM, represents 13 years of work throughout the African continent, capturing the magnificence and magnitude of its wildlife, people, and landscapes.
Xtina Parks shoots with a Nikon camera and often works in black and white. Her focus on pattern and composition unifies her images, emphasizing the interdependent relationship between her animal subjects and their environment with wide-angle lenses to frame wildlife within the greater landscape. In My Dream, a leopard’s spotted coat is dramatically set off against the furrowed bark of its tree, while the large cat in Sayari Baby blends right into the speckled surface of her rock perch. Parks uses stark contrast of light and shadow to underscore the drama of the cloud-filled skies and the animated textures of the flora and fauna. A past personal injury limits the length of the zoom lens that Parks can use, therefore she must be in close proximity to the animals to capture closeups. Parks’ candid and engaging storytelling accompany her breathtaking photographic images that reflect her philanthropic, humanitarian and conservationist philosophies on Africa.
About the artist: Raised in Massachusetts by a Vietnamese mother and an Irish American father, Parks is a photographer, filmmaker, and conservationist working to protect wildlife and restore the habitat of critically endangered species, like the African painted wolf and the elephant. Xtina Parks has a natural penchant for reaching across cultures and an innate capacity for storytelling. Her work can be seen at ROAM: A Xtina Park Gallery in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Hotel Barriere Fouquet’s in New York City, and Hyatt House LAX, to name just a few.