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Photo Essay

An L.A. Street Photographer Turned a Former Youth Detention Center Into an Art Gallery. These Were Our Favorite Photos

12:59 PM PDT on July 30, 2021

@puppetmaster213 and @la_smiley_213 pose for a photo with their puppets. (Brian Feinzimer for L.A. Taco)

[dropcap size=big]O[/dropcap]n July 10th, 2021, “2 Live and Die in L.A.” was hosted at Chuco's Justice Center. This space is the youth-based coalition’s newest location since moving from Inglewood a few years back. Described as “an abolitionist youth, family and incarcerated people's movement to end mass incarceration, deportation & police terror,” this community space and resource center has numerous events such as tribute events for graffiti artist SERCH and events such at ARTIFESTO.

The organization’s newest location was once a youth detention center, highlighted by the exhibition by curator Frankie Orozco aka @losangelesdeftone, titled “Incarcerated Scarface,” a portrait photography series with some former residents of the facility sharing their stories of lost youth and struggle. Orozco curated this year’s exhibit, and the theme featured L.A. Six, Estevan Oriol, Merrick Morton, Frankie Orozco, Gilbert Godoy, Angela Boatwright, and Suitcase Joe. 

These artist works have focused on Los Angeles culture that stretches from the beaches in Venice to South Los Angeles. With over 60 years of photography knowledge, this was one event not to be missed. 

Photos by Erwin Recinos and Brian Feinzimer for L.A. TACO

[caption id="attachment_120257" align="aligncenter" width="1170"] Artist KTG1 Ortega shows various art pieces he created while incarcerated. (Brian Feinzimer for L.A. Taco)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_120263" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Street verified photographer Estevan Oriol being interviewed in one of the holding cells that is being used for a gallery.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_120305" align="aligncenter" width="1170"] Rock (last name unknown) poses for a photo in front of a portrait of him. He had been previously held in custody in this facility that is now the Youth Justice Coalition building. (Brian Feinzimer for L.A. Taco)[/caption]

[gallery type="rectangular" columns="4" ids="120266,120269,120293,120267"]

[caption id="attachment_120285" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Photography collage by TACO contributor Kemal Cilengir aka StreetwiseLA & Lauren Lakin.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_120278" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Los Angeles photographer of Gilbert Godoy aka @la_reflections. Photo by Erwin Recinos[/caption]

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="120283,120282,120284"]

[caption id="attachment_120307" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Skid Row street photography by Suitcase Joe, one of the L.A. Six featured in this exhibition. Photo by Erwin Recinos.[/caption]

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="120273,120271,120270"]

[caption id="attachment_120254" align="aligncenter" width="1170"] @puppetmaster213 and @la_smiley_213 pose for a photo with their puppets. (Brian Feinzimer for L.A. Taco)[/caption]

[gallery type="rectangular" ids="120277,120276,120255"]

[caption id="attachment_120286" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Photography by Estevan Oriol featuring his work from his book "This Is Los Angeles." Photo by Erwin Recinos[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_120298" align="aligncenter" width="1280"] Pauly's Project was vending at this event to help with his project of donating thousands of radios and supplies to the cities homeless. Photo by Erwin Recinos.[/caption]

[gallery type="rectangular" columns="4" ids="120288,120261,120260,120259" orderby="rand"]

[caption id="attachment_120256" align="aligncenter" width="1170"] (Brian Feinzimer for L.A. Taco)[/caption]

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