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). Following these experiences,
in 1969 he combined the tradition and honor from Cholo gang graffiti
and his education from Chouinard 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 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 and a pioneer book in the Chicano culture.
In 1979 he embarked on a three year round-the-world experience,
visiting and living in 35 countries, studying how graphics and letters
The graffiti art that Chaz Bojórquez paints today asks even
deeper questions of himself: Does graffiti art have intent, purpose,
cultural identity, history and 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.