To Top

Art & Life with Gabriela Gonzalez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gabriela Gonzalez.

Gabriela, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Born & raised in Socal, I’m a Xicanx from Mexican immigrants who bred me in activism, the arts & commerce. My father, Jose Pedro Gonzalez worked for the UFW alongside Cesar Chavez and my Mother, Helena Ayala Saenz was a business admin and dance for the sensation group Up With People then shortly after they started an analog Photo Studio and video editing business in 1990 that eventually evolved into digital in 2004. I’ve been shooting since I was about ten years old when my parents handed me my first Pentax 35mm camera and have considered myself an analog pro and printer since then. As a teenager, I was raised a punk and good music. My Dad took me to my first backyard show at 11 and I was hooked. I knew eventually I was gonna move to college either way north of the state or Los Angeles. I was hungry to be a Journalist and I came out to be way more into being a solid documentary artist. I became a permanent resident of Los Angeles in 2009 and was very active in the live music scene playing in multiple punk bands as well as distributing my own Zines at fest while attending Art Center College of Design for a couple of years for Photography and Digital Media. I’m proud to say my art compilation zine “Please Try Again Later” has been going strong with several issues now. I finished my BFA through extracurricular at Pasadena City College and while being a Teachers Aid at Los Angeles City College. I’ve received many awards for my Photography at these institutions, both digital and analog and graduated in 2015. I’ve also been shooting bands and live acts for 15 years and found it to be a strong skill of mine in the Photog world.

In 2017, I got my first interview as a visionary at Late Nights in East LA in Boyle Heights, a high volume local podcast. As far as in print is concerned, I’ve been published in L.A. Record, Razorcake Mag, Nylon, Brooklyn & Boyle, Paper Magazine, Float Magazine. I have been exhibiting my work for a decade now simultaneously in such establishments as The Hive Gallery in DTLA, Angel City Brewery, Art Share L.A., LACMA, The Smell, Perhspace, Echo Curio, Think Tank, FMLY Fest, Armory for the Arts in Pasadena, Leimin Space in Chinatown, and Littlefield Venue & Gallery in Brooklyn, New York for Float Magazine, and more recent at Chewing Foil alongside Mike G. KTA for his Stealth Fighter clothing release. I think one of these most important things I learned as a do it yourself artist in art school was perfecting the craft of setting up and curating my own work on to walls, I owe my continuous exposure and on that note my career to it as well to the continuous interactions and friendships I’ve been blessed within this city. The likes of Dan Collins who’s shown me the road to Journaling and Jim Smith of The Smell Venue who has always influenced and embraced punk youth. in 2016, I merged with Bill General Photography Studio in Altadena, California as well started a sister company titled Please Try Again Later where I distribute my work emphasizing on analog processes and controversial conceptual art pieces in mediums such as cyanotypes, screen printed collages, litho negatives and wood transfers alongside my more classic 35mm silver gelatin black and white or Ra4 color prints.

Nowadays, I started a club that consists of LA homies titled “LA Photo Club” and we are very proud of this new venture where we as locals get to truly have our voices heard thru our visual art aesthetics all while exhibiting and publishing raw Los Angeles vibes through our own publications. I’m a Journalist and a Fine Artist serving and striving to keep my vision alive. I’m currently working on a couple of coffee table books that catalog all my fine art print up until now. On more normal days, you can catch me at a local show upfront catching vibes with DSLR in hand. I shoot and work with a wide range of folks in the non-profit sector and am proud to say that establishing myself as an advocate in this era is very rewarding. I had turned to Marijuana as a patient in 2013 after a serious skateboarding accident and have found myself consumed artistically in its environment. The most recent endeavor that I’m very invested in is working for the organization that is White Rabbit High Tea in West Hollywood. I work with an intense creative team, run by Jessica Erikson, where we give you a tastefully documented cannabis experience to unravel yourself in a beautiful and private setting.

That all being said, I embody myself in my work and find new outlets every few years in this city to contribute to the divine essence that is art replicating art. I write about global issues we have today in our local regional newspapers and take full responsibility for how my words can effectively make a ripple in the political stagnant economical fabric we curb our perspective vigorously on. I do what I do to make a change and to continue contributing to a higher self in which we are all united in thought. I want my photos to forever live on and impact the lives of the future generations to never forget the stories that are left behind. I encourage everyone to always follow their path and never lead a life of questioning oneself yet if anything to push forward parts one didn’t know existed. In 2020 I will be attending Pacific Oaks College to finish a Liberal Arts degree and I couldn’t find it more crucial as a leader in punk rock philosophy to further execute my existence on the planet through extensive education in Psychology. I find myself traveling more frequently out of state this year here and there and am super determined to focus on extending my presence onward and eventual have my art exhibited globally while dabbling in other lo-fi, degenerate, feminist abrasive, volatile crafts and blog about it. Viva Los Punx!

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I’m a photographer and a master at the science of it. I am a camera and print nerd and love to stick my fingers in all sorts of machinery. I definitely am in love with experimental analog processes that were created before photographing as we know it. I love to use glass plates to contact print and chemistry to bring my analog prints to life. I take very strange pictures most have said where I see such saturation in a piece of trash on the ground. I like to travel to old abandoned train tracks, secret alleyways, cemeteries to capture my oddly composed scenes. although, I finished college with a class project in documenting Occupy LA in black and white regular format and found something super timeless about processing my own film and writing my own experiences on the events day by day as it occurred. I am an expert in black/white and color analog 35mm developing film and RA4 processing of prints. They are both equally my favorite hobbies. I like to break down cameras and alter the conjunctions. I use expired film and like to have an old camera like a Pentax K1000 with some Ilford 200 film to really get a nice grainy and spooky vibe to my photos. I like to be as authentic as possible when it comes to my alternative processes and aspire to be like the greats who pioneered them like the great William Eggleston, the king of color. The most iconic photo I took and take dear to my heart with the most recent hype is a shot of a Bart Simpson plush doll wearing a Marilyn Manson face mask sitting in a lawn chair up close and the composition at toy eye level. What you should definitely know about my art is that I do it all myself from the source and what I want people to take away whether it’s my digital, analog or mixed media, I want the audience to be able to feel physically and emotionally with what’s going on in the image even if they don’t understand it. I want my photographs to resent and impact a new way of thinking at the same time. I want to spark controversy and pure raw documentation while conceptualizing it for the masses. I want to help the world feel again through my work with my strange perception and transfer it always towards and out of box point of view.

What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
I relate enough to the loneliness that being an artist brings. Its almost like then more you dedicate to your work the harder it is to connect with the rest of the world although I’ve been able to cope with it by finding ways to keep in touch on a regular basis with close friends and new ones for example like setting a date once a month to check some show together and be productive or create community events together so we can plan ahead and use the power of being present physically to its fullest potential. my advice is to always remember your friends are going to be there its the new networks that you need to solidify in your life and strength. I believe we are on this planet for a sole purpose to enlighten one another to the fullest and tighten potential yet sometimes being an artist can mean embracing the self-destructive and surreal and that can hinder relationships in cultivating them. It’s important to communicate even the dark depths of your soul with someone on a regular somewhat basis. keeping your mind clear is also extremely crucial just for living purposes period. Having a clear mind is important for setting priorities and prioritizing the types of communities you want to reach out to and be consistent with. I cannot stress enough that having a journal and or multiple to record thoughts and desires is very key and essential in the process of organizing in a busy artistry lifestyle.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My work is displayed on my website at:
where you can see everything I do in my fine art along with my Freelance Journalism, Portraits, Live Event Photography and collaborations I do with various artists and my newest community project L.A. Photo Club and the newest endeavors to come.

My professional photography Instagram is @crustydonutholes.
My personal blog Instagram is @crustyblog where you can find my activism and music influences.
My punk band Instagram is
My photo community club Instagram is @la_photo_club.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 213.214.5797
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @crustydonutholes @crustyblog @la_photo_club

Suggest a story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in