Creative icons reimagine L.A. lowrider style for Art Basel
, 2022-11-29 13:00:30,
This story is part of “Corpo RanfLA: Terra Cruiser,” a special collaboration between rafa esparza, Image magazine and Commonwealth and Council. See how the whole project came to be here.
The story begins in Elysian Park, at night, in 2018, when rafa esparza transformed his body into a lowrider car. The project was — as it often is for esparza — a collaborative one among friends. Mario Ayala painted his entire body a highlighter pink, in the style of the classic lowrider Gypsy Rose. A golden plaque reading “Brown persuasion,” designed by Tanya Melendez, hung from esparza’s behind. Elysian Park was the perfect place for Fabian Guerrero to document this transformation — a historic site of lowrider and gay cruising. It was the ideal place for esparza to interpret lowrider car culture through a queer and feminine lens, one that he felt was lacking when he was growing up in Los Angeles, zipping down Whittier Boulevard with his brother and cousins. He called the performance “Corpo Ranfla.”
Fast-forward four years later, esparza returned to Elysian Park — this time, as a lowrider cyborg. Friends and family surrounded him, including esparza’s parents and sister, as well as artists, gallerists, and curators like Paulina Lara, Anita Herrera, Gabriela Ruiz, Maria Maea, and Franc Fernandez. They were celebrating esparza’s performance “Corpo RanfLA: Terra Cruiser,” the latest edition of his project, during which he will become the lowrider cyborg and invite…
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