In 1983 I was trying to get my first job as a photographer, a job at
the Tucson Citizen was up for grabs to whoever could prove they had
what it takes to become a newspaper photojournalist. I was taking a
photojournalism class at Pima College and trying to put together my
first portfolio. I'd always loved this mural at the Ray and Son's Tire
shop on west 29th street and would drive down the street to see if
there were any other elements to make the mural a background for a
cool image. While driving down West 29th. street one day in February
of 1983 I could see this photograph coming together. These two Vato's
were walking down the street toward this mural painted by Luis G. Mena
A straight bladed knife: This was before most gang members carried guns, see the knife in the one Vato's belt? Street fighting was dirty you used your muscles speed and a strait bladed knife to survive in those days. I noticed the knife while framing the shot through my camera view finder. I was thinking to myself that is not a pocket knife it is not a knife you use for whittling that was a stabbing knife, had I asked the wrong people to pose for the shot? The one Vato had a beer at 10 am the other appeared to be in training, he was drinking a Pepsi and you could see a package of Bubble Yum chewing gum in his pocket, the other wearing the classic Arizona T-shirt . Could I have planed it any better, no way. They were just walking down their street, they had a identity a look which identifies their culture their live and this time. I feel lucky to have been able to meet and photograph them that day.
Update: April of 2009 I sat down the other day with Ester the sister of Guadalupe Castillo, the man pictured wearing the Arizona T-shirt and for three hours she told me stories about her brother. She called him uncle Marty. I'm going to work on puting that story together. Let his story be told!
11" by 14" Print FF LTD ED $595
16" by 20" Print FF LTD ED $775
To order the print sizes above click on the Paypal links these prints are printed Full Frame like the image above and are signed limited edition (limited to 20 each size) printed on Fuji Crystal Archive Gloss Paper. To order the Ultimate Reproduction print contact A. T. Willett Directly. All orders must be paid in full before processing.
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