Photographer shows insight on East-side neighborhood culture

By Eddie Mike Garcia

A visual look at backyard scenes across the East-side neighborhoods of Los Angeles will be on display at the Vincent Price Art Museum with the opening reception on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Rafael Cardenas, known for his fascinating street style of photography, will present a collection of new works that capture the backyard activities of parties, social gatherings and get togethers and the people that put them together.

The director of VPAM, Pilar Tompkins Rivas said Cardenas titled the exhibit  “Backyard Tableaux.”

“This exhibit will be (Rafael Cardenas) first solo exhibit at ELAC,” Tompkins Rivas said.

The exhibit will feature vivid and colorful images that give  viewers an intimate look at the moments of private and social spaces of the Mexican-American Angelino culture.

Backyard Tableaux, is a collection of photos that span a range of scenes from portraits and videos, to still life.

Nine laminated photographs  will be featured.

These lively compositions will show a quick look at a backyard music event, or the aftermath of a piñata swing.

Collectively, these images engage in the storytelling of a moment, which gives students  an opportunity to view the people and places where they occur.

Some of his work has been presented in solo exhibitions like Eastside Luv and Espacio 1839, and in group exhibitions at Avenue 50 Studio, La Bodega Gallery and Self-Help Graphics and Art.

Cardenas was born in Jalisco, Mexico and raised in East Los Angeles.

He now lives in Boyle Heights. Cardenas is a self-taught photographer who has been practicing his craft since 2010. 

The exhibit will be at VPAM April 28 through July 28, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.; and on Friday from noon until 7 p.m. Admission is free.

backyard Tableaux —A vignette photo from Rafael Cardenas’ Backyard Tableaux,’ shows the backyard of an East-side home while a celebration takes place. Courtesy of Rafael Cardenas

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