Chaz Bojorquez: Graff Since '69

01 Gallery exhibit of the artist known as the Godfather of "Cholo style" graffiti letter writing is a huge influence

Published on LatinoLA: January 29, 2009

Chaz Bojorquez: Graff Since '69

As the longest active graffiti writer, Bojorquez has graced the cityscapes of Los Angeles as well as galleries and art collections with his "Cholo style" graffiti. In the early 80's the 01 Gallery was one of the first galleries to feature Chaz's work establishing a 25-year relationship that has featured Chaz's progression as an urban and fine art painter.

From participating in 01 Gallery's 1985 group show "Western Exterminators" alongside underground art luminaries 'Big Daddy' Ed Roth and Robert Williams to curating "Next Step," an exhibition of rising graffiti artists that included MEAR ONE, MAN ONE, RETNA and others, Chaz has been the pioneer in "Cholo style" graffiti and in Chicano culture.

From his humble beginnings growing up as a graffiti writer on the streets in northeast Los Angeles, to a stint at Chouinard Art School, to studies with Master Yun Chun Chiang in Asian calligraphy, Bojorquez - like the dragon in his recent artwork of cultural fusion, "Chino Latino" - has become a forceful L.A. representative on the artistic world stage of gallery and museum exhibitions, academic symposiums, and art publications. His artworks and media profiles have been presented internationally in Spain, Mexico, France, Italy, and recently a two-year "live" collaboration with Japanese artist-writers Zys in Tokyo and Usugrow in Osaka.

Bojorquez's work can be found in twenty-three museum collections such as The Smithsonian Museum of American Art; The Weisman Museum, Minneapolis; The Mexican Fine Arts Museum, Chicago; and The De Young Museum, San Francisco. In Los Angeles his works are held at LACMA, MOCA, the UCLA Chicano Research Studies Center, and the City of Los Angeles Municipal Collections. The Gerald Buck Collection, as well as Mr. & Mrs. Stuart and Judith Spence, Nicolas Cage, Jackson Browne, and Richard "Cheech" Marin are some of the collectors that have acquired his work. Bojorquez's vibrant and cutting-edge stylings have also recently been graphically produced in commercial design for Nexus7 Clothing line (Tokyo); Disney BLOC28 project; Vans shoes; and in March 2009 a new shoe design for Royal Elastics, as well as countless graphic productions for national companies, institutions, and the entertainment industry.

It is to this long, varied, and prolific creative activity that 01 Gallery looks to celebrate artist Chaz Bojorquez as he turns sixty years young this New Year. Christina Ochoa, Director of 01 Gallery states that, "celebrating Chaz's accomplishments is exciting for us because he more than anyone else began to take street graffiti to gallery and museum walls and collections. He is known as the Godfather of "Cholo style" graffiti letter writing and that artistic creation has been a huge influence on Chicano culture and the art of Los Angeles."

Indeed Bojorquez's letter writing is the crux that keeps him moving forward and investigating new artistic territory. Bojorquez remarks that, "it is said that a person's inner character can be read in their handwriting. In art, the perfection of a line is the awareness of greater truth. That dynamic combination is what has always strengthened my belief in what I was doing was right. My soul commitment to graffiti has taken me on a voyage of forty years." And with that commitment it is clear that not only has Bojorquez created outstanding works of art, but he has also created a language unto its own: one that speaks dynamically and extensively from the heart and soul.

"Graff Since '69" will feature selected works from Chaz's oeuvre to include serigraphs, sculpture, mixed media works, and an installation. The exhibition will also feature a special presentation of one of Chaz's signature glitter skull artworks, "LA Mix." On February 7th at the 01 Gallery, LACMA will reveal new re-released limited edition prints of "LA Mix" to new and joining members of the county museum. For more information on this LACMA limited edition please visit http://www.lacma.org/support/musebeacons.aspx.

The 01 Gallery invites the public to view and celebrate the art of Chaz Bojorquez.

The 01 Gallery opens the Chaz Bojorquez exhibition in conjunction with the Gregory Bojorquez exhibition, "The Sun Rises In The East," in the adjoining project gallery. (No relation).

For more information, please contact the gallery:

530 S. Hewitt Street
Barker Block Suite 141
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Image: "LA Mix" detail
Author's website

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