Thursday, May 24, 2012
GREGORY BOJORQUEZ :: .45 POINT BLANK
Photographer Gregory Bojorquez, whose previous one man shows featuring life in East Los Angeles has won the praise of critics and art lovers all over the world, will unveil a dramatic five picture series of a recent real-life shootout on the streets of Hollywood in a one man show scheduled for June 9th in Los Angeles. Presented by Bene Taschen through his pop-up art space, Hardhitta Gallery (5900 Wilshire Blvd, East Annex (Variety Building), Los Angeles, CA 90036), “.45 Point Blank” will open on June 9th and run through July 12th.
Taschen, the son of art publisher Benedikt Taschen, has long been a supporter of Bojorquez and recently featured a collection of the photographer’s work entitled “Streets of L.A.” in Hardhitta exhibitions in Cologne and Berlin. Of those shows, Carolin Genreith writing for Germany’s HHV magazine said, “Bojorquez’ photos are poetic, sometimes merciless. Some seem almost staged or from another time, but what is to be discovered in the exhibition “Streets of L.A.” is the dark and real, here and now (hidden) under a bright Californian sky.”
A native of East Los Angeles, Bojorquez cut his teeth shooting for the local alternative newspaper, L.A. Weekly. He also made a name for himself amongst the city’s celebrity set with his unique approach to shooting hip hop icons and sports stars. But his personal work was always a priority – Bojorquez never went anywhere without his camera and in 2009 his work was featured in a collection called “The Sun Rises in the East” at the downtown Los Angeles art gallery 01.
In December of 2011 while walking on Sunset Blvd, near the intersection of Vine Street, Bojorquez was literally caught in the crossfire of a dramatic shoot out between a lone gunman and LAPD. As Bojorquez instinctively snapped pictures, police shot the gunman dead in the street. One innocent bystander was also shot and later died in the hospital. Bojorquez’ photographs were carried by hundreds of newspapers around the world, but have never before been available to view as a sequence of fine art prints.
This series of photographs form the backbone of “.45 Point Blank,” which is a retrospective of Bojorquez work beginning in 1992 through 2011. The gritty, street-level work features the kind of grimy glamour that is Bojorquez’ calling card. From Boyle Heights to Beverly Hills, Bojorquez ability to capture the essence of such a disparate group of subcultures signals a major photographic tour de force.
Born in 1972, grew up in the infamous streets of East Los Angeles. He photographed his surroundings, his neighbors and his friends, succeeding early on in documenting their private lives. After he caught the attention of LA Weekly, he began to photograph Hollywood celebrities, stars ranging from the likes of Snoop Dogg to Mike Tyson. His photos were published in numerous magazines including Rolling Stone Magazine and FHM.
However he continues to go back to his roots by maintaining his interest in people from his surroundings. He knows the dark side of Los Angeles and conveys original images of a hidden world, far removed from the Hollywood Hills. His photos have a remarkable documentary quality, for example “The Eastsiders” (1997-2001), a fascinating work of romance, gangs and death. “Friday Night Party” shows 19 year old ‘Wicked’ with his friends just minutes before his murder by a member of a rival gang.
Greg paints a picture of Los Angeles as we have never seen it before – naked and uncensored.