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L.A. from Every Angle
Posted April 01, 2010 to photo album "L.A. from Every Angle"
As Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg shows, there are many different L.A.s inside the city limits. Joel Bleifuss takes us on the tour of how artists imagine Los Angeles.
Slide 27: L.A. of the Cholos
Charles “CHAZ” Bojorquez (1949- ) Bojorquez is the most famous practitioner of what is known as Los Angeles “Cholo” style graffiti art.
L.A. Mix an 8-color screenprint, printed on holographic paper (left), Charles “Chaz” Bojorquez (center) and his painting No More Pompadours (1996) (right.) “The big skull in No More Pompadours is a representation of how all us young men felt in the 1960s,” says Bojorquez. “We were all young teenagers in a Elvis Presley world. Anyone who was a rebel, also into the music or cruising, wanted to be with ‘Big Hair.’ Our West Coast traditions were our biggest influences. For example, movie stars had big hair, so did the surfers, lower riders and the Black Panther party. I also claim Los Angeles as my ancestral homeland, and have painted in the lower left corner a ‘Soy de L.A.,’ announcing my barrio.”
Beginning in 1969, Bojorquez painted on the streets of East L.A. He last “tagged” in 1986, and has now moved to other media.
Writing on the website Graffiti Verte, Bojorquez has said of the Cholo style, “I don’t like elitism in my life, and I don’t like it in my art. I see the whole movement of graffiti is like a big book. … I feel that if the city was a body, graffiti would tell us where it hurts. By cutting out the pain, you risk damage to the whole. … My current street observations are that Los Angeles may be on the verge of being a dynamic city of the future. It is becoming a world leader in all art matters. …. Our homegrown arts are our own best, west coast inspirations. Here skateboard and surf art, lowrider and hot rod art, lowbrow cartoon art and the Hollywood entertainment industry all come together. We are at the crossroads where graffiti art meets the internet and cyber-pop. … In L.A. we live in a movie world where the outcome can be written in for the future that we want. No other city in the world has this cultural art heritage. Los Angeles could become the future graffiti capital of the world and that would be a spark for all the arts everywhere to shine. Because once you understand and appreciate graffiti art, then we can all understand and appreciate one another.”