Upperplayground News

THE UNDERGROUND WORLD OF CHAZ BOJORQUEZ

by Ariadna Zierold

chaz bojorquez, graffiti, artist, senor suerte, upper playground

Chaz Bojorquez grew up experiencing Cholo graffiti culture in East Los Angeles in the 1950’s. After graduating high school in 1967, Chaz felt himself drawn toward graffiti, rather than gallery art. When he first started painting graffiti himself he focused on creating a political art statement, an expression of his identity and his connection with the Chicano movement.

chaz bojorquez, graffiti, artist, senor suerte, upper playground

His now-iconic Senor Suerte image, which references the Chicano Day of the Dead, the 1970’s film Superfly, and the Zig-Zag man, garnered such a powerful response from people (particularly Chicano gang culture) that thousands of people have Senor Suerte tattooed on their bodies today.

chaz bojorquez, art, graffiti, upper playground

Chaz continued studying art and took a class in Oriental calligraphy at the Pasadena Pacific Asia Museum under Yun Chung Chiang, himself a student of Mr. Pu Ju, brother of the last emperor of China. He integrated the aesthetics and themes Asian calligraphy with the traditions of Cholo graffiti culture to create his own unique style.

chaz bojorquez, art, graffiti, upper playground

In 1978 Chaz’s work started to shift from painting on the streets to painting graffiti on canvas, as he started to feel the need to spend more time on individual pieces, to have longer conversations with the art he was creating. It was around this time that Chaz spent three years traveling the world, studying the graffiti, art and cultures of other countries.

chaz bojorquez, art, graffiti, upper playground
Today, Chaz has been written about nationally and internationally, from television to magazine interviews. His work is shown in local underground events to the most prestigious art galleries and museums. No matter where his art is shown, Chaz’s heart belongs to graffiti.

(via the artist webpage)