SITTING ON CHROME

Image via ‘Sitting on Chrome’ documentary

Designed to be seen, the story of Lowrider culture – a.k.a. highly customized and modified cars with stylized exteriors and upholstered interiors – is obviously one of visual pleasure. As it expresses individual and collective identities too, the exhibition ‘Sitting on Chrome’ at the SF Museum of Modern Arts currently engages the visual language of Lowriders and explores cruising as a practice of resistance and community visibility. And not surprisingly, it’s quite stunning to look at:

For ‘Sitting on Chrome‘, which is accompanied by a short YouTube documentary by the same name, the artists Mario Ayala, rafa esparza and Guadalupe Rosales celebrate and unsettle the topic of the lowrider to reflect on their own early experiences cruising through the streets of Los Angeles.

Examining themes of memory, self-authored histories, and queer experiences, amongst others, the three artists transformed four galleries through vibrant, multisensory installations. Aside from a comunal altar by Rosales, who is also known for sharing the stories of ‘Veteranas and Rucas‘ on her eponymous IG account (which is highly recommended), other works of art include sculptures, painting, archival material and sound installations.

Another highlight, which explores the relationship between humans and machines, is rafa esparza‘s ‘Corpo RanfLA: Terra Cruiser’ which you have to see with your own eyes:

The exhibition ‘Sitting on Chrome’ is on display at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) until February 19th, 2024.

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