the irony and the ecstasy

by urquiza!

los polaroidos gigantes

(“los polaroidos gigantes” is twenty-six giclee’ prints from “perdido en califas” exhibited in the council chamber of the city of buena park september 15 — november 6, 2009)    


The City of Buena Park’s Cultural and Fine Arts Division presents “Los Polaroido Gigantes”, Images from Perdido en Califas: A Photography Exhibition by John Tapia Urquiza. “Los Polaroidos Gigantes” are large scale prints of images from the series Perdido in Califas, a body of work eighteen years in the making. This personal and emotional journey through the eyes of artist John Urquiza utilizes photography to connect memories with emotions, inviting the viewer to develop their own relationship with similar experiences of physical and emotional loss, family triumphs, and the present culture of our generation. With the demise of Polaroid film and the rise of digital photography, Perdido en Califas becomes a misty reminder of our histories and opens up a new dialogue regarding the quest for the Mexican-American dream.


“another graveyard” 1996 catalog no. 17
23×28″ unmounted giclee’
california city outside of the airplane graveyard with jessie huang from the series “running through the desert with scissors” 5 of 7





aside from all the hard work it takes to create an exhibition i was reacquainted with the images from another perspective or another scale.  in my assessment post exhibition i feel the story remained, but each image struggled with the other for dominance. the images become more powerful as individuals at this scale. the texture that the polaroid gave the narrative was lost and they became more vivid icons. each image wandered off on its own and away. i like them immensely at this scale. they are fun pop like pieces that create a stir. the city of buena park was extremely generous and supportive. one of the city caretakers gave me a box of polaroid after the reception from the little used city’s stock!



other images from the exhibition

“untitled” 1996 catalog no. 01

“cafe” 1989 catalog no. 03

“the wood shed no.1” 2001 catalog no. 04

“the journey home” 1997 catalog no. 06

“untitled” 1997 catalog no. 07

“beat 64” 1990 catalog no. 08

“old pachuco” 1990 catalog no. 09

“gold plated ride” 1990 catalog no. 10

“the escape artist” 1996 catalog no. 14

“another graveyard” 1996 catalog no. 17

“untitled” 1996 catalog no. 19

“untitled” 1996 catalog no. 21

“untitled” 2000 catalog no. 22

“desert peacocks”1998 catalog no. 25

“untitled” 1998 catalog no. 26

“tapas” 2005 catalog no. 32

“untitled” 2004 catalog no. 34

“church of the silver sun” 2006 catalog no. 39

“evergreen no. 1” 2006 catalog no. 47

“untitled” 2005 catalog no. 49

“untitled” 2006 catalog no. 53

“untitled” 2005 catalog no. 56

“untitled” 2005 catalog no. 57

“untitled” 1992 catalog no. 58

“untitled” 2000 catalog no. 59

“pearblossom highway” 1989 catalog no. 60


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