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Los Angeles-based photographer Kristin Bedford is the first woman to create an original large-scale body of work about the Mexican lowrider community in Los Angeles. Under the title Cruise Night, she documents this American movement through a striking photo book that radiates warmth and a unique female perspective. The project takes us behind the curtain of this misunderstood subculture as an intimate and unstaged exploration.

Aiming to tackle the misconceptions and celebrate the uniqueness of this marginalised community, Bedford dedicated five years to become closely integrated into LA’s lowrider world; she attended hundreds of cruise nights, car shows, quinceañeras, and even weddings or funerals. The photographer’s fascination for this group and its culture started when learning of the complex and sophisticated symbolism behind car customisation. Cars became mobile canvases, a medium of expression, reflecting decades of identity politics and culture, which worked as a captivating platform for creativity.

Cruise Night, as her visual tribute, includes snippets or oral histories and images that explore art and symbolism behind the bodywork, while revealing the strength of its female members. The photo book offers a new visual narrative around the lowrider traditions and, once again, proves Kristin Bedfords’ fascination for creating work that revolves around the intersection of aesthetics and social realism.

Romina Román

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