KRISTIN BEDFORD, SHORTLISTED 3RD BIENNIAL’S GRANT
Cruise Night is about the art of being seen. Catching the eye of a young woman. Falling in love.
Having a voice. All while cruising down a boulevard. It is a glimpse at the beauty, grace and
politics of the car as a mobile canvas.
These photos arise from three years of immersing myself in Los Angeles’ tight-knit Mexican
American lowrider community. The term “lowrider” refers to both a customized car and its driver.
The lowrider tradition dates back to 1940s Los Angeles, when teenagers experimented
with transforming their cars to reflect their personal style and sense of independence.
Today, lowriding is often pigeonholed as simplistic folk art or stereotyped by the media as crude
and dangerous. I am offering an invitation to question these depictions and providing an intimate
look at the nuance, style and complexities of this American art form.
While working on Cruise Night for the last three years, I have created deep ties to the lowrider
community and heard a lot of incredible stories. I would like to add another layer to my project
and have oral history accompany the images. I would also like to begin the printing the work.
With this grant I plan to:
• Purchase an audio recorder and lavalier microphone.
• Pay for gas and transportation to get to the older lowriders, who live far from the Los
Angeles center, to interview them.
• Afford me time to do transcriptions of these audio interviews.
• Afford me time to lay out this text element with my photos.
• Begin printing the work, costs include Epson ink and photo paper.