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Q&A: @gangculture

Photographer Trevor Hernandez, AKA @gangculture, talks about Los Angeles, Instagram and his collaboration with Frieze

Frieze has collaborated with Los Angeles-based photographer Trevor Hernandez on a photo series to launch Frieze Los Angeles. Celebrated as @gangculture on Instagram, Hernandez’s commission for Frieze reframes Paramount Pictures Studios from the artist’s distinctive, surrealist perspective, exposing uncanny compositions on the working lot and within the urban Los Angeles landscape. Hernandez’s work for Frieze Los Angeles will be featured on frieze.com, across social media and on visual advertising world-wide.

Why did you choose the name @gangculture for Instagram? 
I originally intended on using the name as a title for a publication, but I joined Instagram before I had a chance to start the project. The username has no specific connection to the photos…but I was interested in using a name that evokes something larger than self.

What got you started with photography?
My father bought me my first film camera around age 10. I really didn’t have the patience or desire to fully appreciate the equipment, so the camera didn’t get much use. In my teens I purchased a T4 and several digital cameras…but I didn’t fully embrace shooting photos on a regular basis until my first iPhone. The convenience of using my phone as a camera, created this habit that has become a bit of an obsession.

How would you describe your artistic style?
Sculptural. Conceptual.

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Photo by Trevor Hernandez @gangculture

Photo by Trevor Hernandez @gangculture

How would you describe Los Angeles’ culture?
I was born and raised here, so my experience of LA will always be defined by the working class people and colorful imagery of the large Hispanic communities. Since this is a decentralized city, you have large pockets of neighborhood proud communities scattered across the landscapes that form a beautiful diverse population. The city has been going through rapid changes, so I’m trying to absorb as much of the old charm now, before it gets replaced.

Can you name a few of your favourite places in the city?
I prefer the historic over the new, so If I’m out wandering around the city, I might go to Philippes or Langer’s for a sandwich, and end my day in Elysian Park.

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Photo by Trevor Hernandez @gangculture

Photo by Trevor Hernandez @gangculture

Whom do you follow on Instagram?
I spend a lot of time in the explore tab looking at Middle Eastern and Russian accounts that curate videos featuring auto stunts/accidents and resourcefully made contraptions. The content I enjoy most is not art or photo related, but of few notable accounts are: @shaunking @jamescwelling @vicbergeriv @brad___phillips

What do you think Instagram as a platform has to offer artists and photographers?
Immediate access to an audience. A great benefit from the app has been the friendships that I’ve formed, it’s an interesting bond that occurs when you follow people over time.

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Photo by Trevor Hernandez @gangculture

Photo by Trevor Hernandez @gangculture

Are there any galleries you are particularly looking forward to seeing at Frieze Los Angeles?
I frequent most galleries in LA often, so I’m looking forward to viewing New York and international galleries.

All photos by Trevor Hernandez @gangculture. Frieze Los Angeles will take place at Paramount Pictures Studios from February 15 through February 17. Tickets will be released soon.

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