Download and print an A3 version of The Bluest Eye exhibition poster (see image above).

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LINDEN EZEKIEL PARCHMENT

'THE BLUEST EYE'

2 ❘ 3 ❘ 6 ❘ 7 ❘ November - 11am - 5pm

Opening Night: 31 October ❘ 6pm - 9pm

The work of Linden Ezekiel Parchment is rooted in his early experiences of being brought up in an impoverished black neighbourhood in New Orleans. His earliest childhood memories abound with images of sparsely furnished, dimly lit rooms, cluttered with used and tattered magazines scavenged by his mother from households for which she worked as a domestic help.

 

Parchment’s mother raised him alone, teaching him to read from glossy magazines and the menus of cheap cafés and restaurants which abounded in the district adjacent to the ghetto in which she raised her son. Images of beauty, health and wealth. Images of white women who unashamedly exhibited their beauty, but it was a beauty which Parchment would come to question. Even his mother who lived on a pittance, began to emulate the style of the images in the magazines. The hair, the make-up, the clothes, the high heeled shoes.

As he grew into adolescence, Parchment’s understanding of the images of these people, particularly the women contained on the covers and in the pages of magazines such as Life, Vanity Fair and Vogue, broadened into a wider understanding of the differences which existed in the world around him. Where were those beautiful people, those beautiful women and that healthy, wealthy, lifestyle to be found in his own world?

 

Where were those fabulously unblemished women to be found in his neighbourhood? He looked at his black skin, his arms, his hands, his hair. He looked at the skin and hair of his mother. He looked at the black people in his neighbourhood. What he saw was the reality of the pain and the suffering of living in poverty etched into the faces of real people. People who lived in a real world, a world in which, according to the magazines, there existed a fair society with opportunities for everyone.

Images from the Exhibition

All images by Edward Cartwright ©Edward Cartwright 2015  

Linden Ezekiel Parchment

Parchment’s work addresses the dichotomy and popularised oppression that he sees all around him. He exposes the powers that encourage people in general, and women in particular, to conform to a certain look, a lifestyle, a way of
viewing the world, relationships and sexuality.

 

Parchments work is not subtle. He bluntly exposes what has become socially accepted as ‘beauty’. He wastes no time on #nesse or detail of line. His work is expressive, loud, even brash, oen using con#dent brush strokes of primary
colours straight from the tube. Why should he replicate the air brushed, falsely and stylised beauty that he sees in magazines and popular culture? Far easier, more powerful and more accurate, to insert pages from the magazines themselves directly on to his canvas whilst at the same time exposing and depicting the blemishes which exist within real people. Indeed the
blemishes which exist within the actual people who appear in the photographs.

 

Parchment’s later work within the advertising industry led him to meet many women who conformed to the styles and images contained in popular culture and the contradictions that this created within their lives. Real lives where real people and real women reconcile their blemishes, their body dysmorphia, and their doubts, with the expectations of the photographer, the media, and the world at large.

In more recent work I have moved on from describing birds and animals in steel to forging human forms from the cutlery. This area of the work seeks to draw out the human figures from these man made items, created by our own hands for our own hands, hence the title of the human series; 'Finding the Man in the Metal'. I find something appealing about making everyday objects quite literally stare back at us.

 

“When I was a young boy growing up in the back streets of New Orleans, my mom would read glossy magazines. I would look at the pictures of beautiful white flawless models, the people I would never see in real life and I couldn't understand where this world was. I would look at my own black skin and wonder, I would look at my mom's frizzy hair and wonder, I would look at my rough hands and wonder. Where was this other world? Who were these people? Now these are the images that come to mind when I paint, portraits of the beautiful young people that everyone wants to be, but do not exist. With paint I can put the flaws back in, I can express the alienation that they create. The ugly truth of the beauty.”

Address:

21 Clifton Street

Chapel Ash

Wolverhampton WV3 0TZ

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