On 9 June 2022, Galerie Bene Taschen in Cologne presented the new solo show Hang Time by Gregory Bojorquez. The American photographer Gregory Bojorquez started taking pictures in the 1990s, documenting everyday life in East Los Angeles, where he was born in 1972. He quickly became known for his images of local subcultures, such as skaters, car tuners, and gang members. Hang Time shows his friends and neighbors living la vida loca, the crazy life, expressed in their tattoos, clothes, graffiti, and more.
Multicultural East L.A., an area marked by joy, violence, and death, was known at the time for its high crime rate and its many parallel societies. Bojorquez’s works offer a fascinating look at the complexities of this part of the city. As a documentarian, he draws on his personal connections in the community, photographing an insular world where loyalty and personal bonds are highly valued. With his analogue camera, he captures the realities of people whose lives often receive little attention because of their social environment.
Alongside images depicting carefree yard parties, friendship, love, and family, Bojorquez’s images often capture moments of death and personal loss. To this day, Bojorquez continues to document the multifaceted and changing face of life in East Los Angeles.
The book Eastsiders, from which many works are on display in Hang Time, was published by LITTLE BIG MAN in 2022. “This book showcases the robust body of work of Bojorquez, photographs depicting the complex, but also celebratory, reality of Los Angeles’s vast Eastside. Not only the tattoos, clothing, and walls related to La Vida Loca (The Crazy Life), but also the mothers, the gardens, the children, the working men, the decorated lowrider cars, the spirit of resiliency.” – (Luis J Rodriguez)
About the Author
Gregory Bojorquez was born in Los Angeles in 1972. He started photographing in his teens, and set about documenting the subjects and stories that interested him personally. The intimate images he captured in East L.A. were not the product of structured photo sessions or assignments; They were shot from the perspective of a young man hanging out with friends and neighbors.
Sometime around 1998 Gregory began photographing for the San Gabriel News Group. The photo assignments were underwhelming. When the photo editor called Bojorquez into his office to ask him if he was a “gang member”, Gregory asked if the editor posed this question to all their staff photographers and tendered his resignation on the spot.
At that time, Gregory began photographing for the L.A. Weekly and was quickly signed on as a staff photographer. Assignments for magazines and commercial work for major record labels naturally followed. His portraits of personalities such as Snoop Dogg and Mike Tyson appeared in publications such as Rolling Stone and For His Magazine.
In 1999 Gregory became instrumental in the early beginnings of DUB Magazine where he was brought on as Photo Editor and Feature Photographer for a period of more than seven years.
By the early 2000’s Bojorquez had created a formidable portfolio of work, and began to focus his attention on exhibiting his fine art photography. For his first effort, he curated a group exhibition, titled L.A. Women. The exhibition which appeared at both the Voice 1156 Gallery in San Diego, as well as Lab 101 Gallery in Los Angeles was met with great acclaim.
Since that time, Gregory’s photographs have been exhibited internationally in gallery shows, museum exhibitions, and art fairs including Photo London, Paris Photo, & Art Düsseldorf. Gregory is represented in Europe by Galerie Bene Taschen.
Gregory Bojorquez : Hang Time
10 June – 17 September 2022
Gallery Bene Taschen
Cologne – Germany