Artist Projects


Ken Gonzales-Day

Profiled is an ongoing project that considers the institutionalization of racial and ethnographic categories in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and their influence on sculptural depictions of the human form in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Working with Edward Calacion, the principal at the Young Oak Kim Academy (YOKA) a public middle school in central Los Angeles, Ken Gonzales-Day produced a series of workshops/lectures in which students faculty and staff explored the history of racial formation. The artist also photographed the students. The results were displayed in the school’s library at the end of the 2011-2012 academic year as part of the school’s open house to the community. The intention was to expose students to the fine arts while raising awareness of the scientific and historical debates about race and racial formation. Students who submitted an essay on their own self-image received a photographic print.

Project Updates

  • The short film and photographic series were exhibited at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles in 2015; The Kimura Art Gallery at the University of Alaska in 2016; and in “Shadowlands,” a traveling solo exhibition organized by the Minnesota Museum of Art in 2017.

  • 2015: Run Up, a new body of work including a new film and photographic series, premieres as a solo exhibition at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

  • 2014: Gozales-Day was appointed as Artist-in-Residence at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. for the month of June. He will continue to work on his Creative Capital funded project, Profiled, primarily photographing nineteenth century life-casts made of Native Americans

  • 2013: Works from the Creative Capital funded Profiled series included in exhibitions at the Art Gallery at the University of Maryland, College Park; Luis De Jesus at Dallas Art Fair, TX; Sala del Rectorado, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain; Creative Capital at Pulse NY.

  • 2012: Works from the Creative Capital funded Profiled series were exhibited at the Bass Museum of Art; Luis De Jesus at Pulse, Miami; Leila Heller Gallery, NYC; Los Angeles Valley College Gallery, Los Angeles; The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara; The Los Angeles County Musuem of Art; and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

  • 2012: The exhibition included over twenty works, many drawn from the Creative Capital funded Profiled series. The exhibition was reviewed in ArtSene, Art Ltd., ArtTalk, HUFFPOST, and The Los Angeles Times, among others.

  • 2012: Gonzales-Day presents Profiled project to students, faculty and staff at Young Oak Kim Academy (YOKA) middle school in Los Angeles and mounts an exhibition of the participants final essays and portraits. Participants included students, faculty, and staff at YOKA and was open to the community.

  • 2012: Ken Gonzales-Day takes research trip to Japan to photograph objects in Japanese museums as part of his on-going Creative Capital funded project, Profiled, and has his first solo exhibition in Singapore at Gallerie Steph.

  • Works from the Profiled series were acquired by the Getty Research Institute; the Santa Barbara Museum of Art; LACMA, the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, and 21C Museum Hotels in Cincinnati.