CHAZ BOJORQUEZ


Chaz Bojorquez believes that true self-expression comes from the soul. At an early age, in the 1950’s he experienced the graffiti tradition of the East Los Angeles Mexican-Americans. Los Angeles ‘Cholo’ style graffiti was dictated by an honored code of writing. Allegiance to that code of traditional writing brought you respect. In 1968, out of high school with a liberal arts/mathematics diploma, and one year of state college, Chaz enrolled into Chouinard art school (known today as Cal Arts). He also studied Asian calligraphy from Master Yun Chung Chiang (Master Chiang studied under Pu Ju, brother of the last Emperor of China). From all of these experiences, in 1969 he combined the tradition and honor from Cholo gang graffiti and the educational knowledge from art school, and with the spiritual skills of Asian calligraphy. Chaz was one of the first graffiti writers from Los Angeles, with his own style. After more than a decade of tagging in the streets in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, came a deeper need to understand, why do we do graffiti? In 1975 Italian photographer Gusmano Cesaretti interviewed Chaz for Street Writers, a transcribed audio tour of East Los Angeles graffiti in the early 1970’s. A pioneer book in the Chicano and Graffiti culture.

In 1979 he embarked on a three year round-the-world experience, visiting and living in 35 countries, studying how graphics and letters describes culture and national pride. The graffiti art that Chaz Bojorquez paints today, ask even deeper questions of himself. Does graffiti have intent, purpose, cultural identity, history and create unity? Who owns the public space and who has the right to speak and be heard? These universal questions have answers in all of us.


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