JUNE 23. 2018 - FEBRUARY 28. 2019
In this space, you’ll see some of Xtina Parks’ most iconic photographs. Each photo was taken on a Nikon full-frame digital camera. For smaller-scale images, she went "old school"--these images were turned into 4x5 LVT negatives, which were then processed in the darkroom by Master Printer Alissa Marquis at f22BW. Marquis prints our photographs using the Silver Gelatin process, invented in 1871.
The large format photographs were printed at Cone Editions studio using a process called "Piezography." Invented at Cone, Piezography is the highest quality and most archival digital black and white printing system available.
Xtina Parks adheres to a high photographic standard, and as such, these images are in no way altered beyond the removal of dust spots or for developing the contrast and tones.
Xtina Parks (b. 1971) is an American photographer, filmmaker, and conservationist, known for her images of African wildlife.
Raised in Massachusetts by a Vietnamese mother and an Irish American father, Parks has a natural penchant for reaching across cultures and an innate capacity for storytelling. She first traveled to Africa in 2010 and developed a passion for the preservation and habitat restoration of endangered species. Capturing such animals in their natural habitat has informed her artistic process. Her photography is deeply inspired by her work (with scientists, conservationists, and local communities) to protect wildlife, especially critically endangered species, such as the African painted wolf and the elephant.
Parks shoots with a Nikon camera and often works in black and white. She uses a wide-angle lens in order to frame the wildlife within the greater landscape. Her focus on pattern and composition unifies the elements of her images, emphasizing the interdependent relationship between her animal subjects and their environment. 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. An old 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. This “handicap” of sorts has actually enhanced Park’s sensitivity to their comfort and temperaments. She never forces an interaction or oversteps boundaries; she won’t photograph an animal if she senses any resistance. These majestic creatures often return her gaze, adding to the power of the photographs, which directly connect the viewer to the animals.
Xtina is also an author and documentarian. Her book, ROAM (Headline Studios), published in 2023, is a collection of wildlife images, shot over the course of six years, in Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania. Candid and engaging storytelling accompany the breathtaking images that reflect her philanthropic, humanitarian and conservationist philosophies on African wildlife. Her documentary, Lost in Ethiopia, shot in 2015-16, chronicles her journey with a team of conservationists, to Ethiopia’s remote Harenna Forest to investigate the rare, unstudied lions of that region. Xtina has also been an integral part of several African research studies, that inform national parks and wildlife reserves’ management on best practices to protect and preserve African wildlife.
Parks’ work is on display at the Morning Star Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico; ROAM: A Xtina Park Gallery–housed in the MASS MoCA complex in North Adams, Massachusetts; the Hotel Barriere Fouquet's in New York City; and Hyatt House LAX. Her photographs are in numerous private collections.