Sunday, June 22, 2014

El Mas Chingon

       Anna and I first saw George Lopez live on stage about 10 years ago at the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal Studios. Laughing at the jokes that at that time we had only heard on his CDs who would've thought years later we'd be invited to hang back stage in his VIP section? Not me but we were and this time, just like at the Gibson, he killed the crowd again.

           It was a cool surprise to see Alysha Del Valle there too. Anna and I have become friends with Alysha based on the work we both do and Alysha's interest and support for both. Alysha was there with her awesome family. Alysha, please thank your mom again for the slice of pizza she gave us.

           "Who would've thought?" is something I've found myself asking a lot over this past year.

Who would've thought...

I'd ever have a book out?

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti would accept one of my photographs as a gift to City Hall and offer to display my book, Lowriting, at City Hall?

I'd be a regular at the Northeast L.A. Artwalk

George Lopez, "El Mas Chingon" himself,  would invite me and my friend, Santino Rivera, to sell copies of Lowriting at his show at the Honda Center because he likes the book and wants it to succeed?

           Anna and I had an incredible night. George treated us to "All Access" passes entitled us to hang out in his lounge area with celebrities like Tito Ortiz and Terrence Howard. How crazy is that!? Oh and 3rd row seats to his show which was as hilarious if not better than his show 10 years ago. This time we were able to see him without watching those huge screens hanging from the rafters.

           I've been a fan of George's for a long time. I read both of his books and am beyond honored to have him in my corner. Wow! Thank you, George. For everything.


          I also have to thank my friend, Mike at Frame Monster for believing in my work, connecting me w/ George in the first place and helping to make this all possible. Thank you, Mike!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Greatest of Them All

 "The Greatest of Them All" art/photography exhibit - April 26th at KGB Studios

I found out about this show about 10 days prior to its opening bu after hearing that it was "L.A." themed I knew I had to get in. I felt confident my stuff would fit and it would be a great opportunity to get my name and work out there. Luckily for me, after seeing my work, Gabriel Polanco agreed to bring me on board.

What an experience to be a part of. Graffiti art and photography inspired by Los Angeles. My city. Here are a couple of highlights.

At one point of the night I saw a photograph, taken by another artist in the show, of a graffiti piece done by the brother of an old friend of mine and it really took me back. I began to trip out just being there in that gallery. I never thought of myself as an artistic person. My name is Art bought I thought that's as far as it went. I never thought I'd have any kind of artwork up in any gallery and/or people buying my stuff for that matter. But here I was. I had 5 pieces in this show called "The Greatest of Them All" and 3 of them were already spoken for. I pulled my son to the side and let him know what I was thinking. I reminded him to take his talent and work hard at it. I got lucky and somehow fell into this. I never thought I'd be doing stuff like this. I hope my advice didn't sound like a lecture to him. I know it usually does.

People stopped to talk to me all night complimenting my photos, the frames and the attractive price point. I owe so much thanks to my friend, Mike, for making my stuff look so good. He's been a good friend to this rookie photographer.

My friends Janette Ewen and Jef Hancock came to check out my work and bought the first two pieces of the night. Support from them is huge to me because the way I see it, in their line of work they see talent all the time so for them to pay attention to what I do and encourage me really means a lot to me. I can't wait to see what the photos look like in their Parker Barrow design studio.

Another friend who came through Saturday night was Art Beltran. If you've picked up a copy of my book, Lowriting, you might remember his name from the S/O I gave in the book's acknowledgements. He's a great guy and has become a real good friend to me and my family.  

It usually irks me when I see people taking photos I post online and reposting them as their own but I saw a few people taking pictures of my photos hanging on the wall and I gotta admit, it was a very nice compliment. Again, I never thought this would happen. 

I had a great night. I felt the support from family and friends. My dad has been to all my shows so far. He even showed up to this one even though the scene was a little different than the shows I have previously participated in. Anna and the kids were tired by the end of the night but were happy for me and my successful showing. They're proud of me.

I left the show feeling confident knowing I had did my best and hung with The Greatest of Them All.