My photography now at Cafecito Organico

My favorite coffee shop in Orange County now has two of my photos. Go visit them when you want coffee. I love their Iced Coffee. They have plenty of nice areas to chill nearby as they are inside The Lab Antimall in Costa Mesa, CA.

The photos here are part of my collection “Strange Music, Strange Thoughts” which is about two things that inspire me; music and coffee. The shot of the coffee was taken in the Summer of 2015 at Cafecito Organico in Costa Mesa. The shot on the right was taken at a record shop in Santa Barbara in the summer of 2014. I was there to watch Bad Suns in concert

tombstones-cover-santa-ana-cemetery-crown

About Tombstones

Tombstones is part of an investigation into our cultural conditioning about death. At age 5 my mother passed away to a heart attack. I was left to question the forces behind life and death.

It has led me on a pursuit of health and life extension. But also intrigue to why some focus more on how they will be remembered later as opposed to living life to the fullest now. Yet many never think about death seriously. Often considered a grim and taboo topic, many avoid further discussion.

It is my hypothesis that ignoring death will cause us to ignore life. When we stop to think about how we have a finite time on this planet, we can gain more appreciation for the little moments in life, and use that to fuel us to greater accomplishments.

During much of our lives we question our reason for being. Many often hesitate to live how they want, for fear of consequences in the afterlife.

Though we may sometimes think about how we will be remembered. What are many of us doing to ensure that memory?

The purpose of this project and its collection of images is to provoke healthy discussions about death. But most importantly, introspection in the viewers, to realize their limited time. Because only then can we come to peace with death and really begin to live life. What good is life after death if we live as if we are dead?

The project started with a visit to the Corona cemetery, the same cemetery where my mother is buried. It was about 11PM in the Spring of 2015. I had to sneak in under the cover of darkness. At first wandering around exploring, my attention was drawn in by the obelisks, which were very visible even at night. I began to take pictures of them. Then I noticed that often those monuments had space reserved around them. Family members often buried nearby.

A pattern began to arise. “Father” and “Mother” were often inscriptions. Meaning perhaps that the children were the ones responsible for arranging their parents burial. There were no “son” or “daughter” inscriptions in those sites. This then revealed that often the deceased are not remembered as they would want to be remembered but as those closest to them want to remember them.

It seemed a bit selfish. For the person in charge of the burial to want to have the world remember the deceased how that person wanted to remember them. Or was it that the person wanted to be remembered as that title?

Further investigation led me to the cemetery in Santa Ana, CA in the summer of 2015. Here there were many inscriptions for “father” and “mother” as well. Were plots bought in doubles? planning ahead by the couple? or was it the children who decided to buy two at a time?

Here I also ran into a very large area reserved for Freemasons.

tombstones cemetery freemason square and compass

Here their affiliation was part of their identity that they wanted to be remembered for.

This gave me new material for this ongoing investigation. How affiliation with like minded individuals created a sense of purpose.

I actually had previously met many Freemasons weeks before and gathered information. So I had preliminary insight about Freemasons. I completed a workshop by Vincent Versace on black and white photography. The workshop was at the temple in Orange, CA.

I was enthused to begin my investigations of the world through black and white photography.

Curators may contact me at jgallardo720@gmail.com to discuss having these works displayed at their galleries or shows. International galleries may keep works sent. I can deliver framed photographs in Los Angeles or Orange County.

Below are various images that I have taken so far for the collection.

tombstones angel cemetery santa ana ca

tombstones strange freemaon cemetery santa ana ca

tombstones crown cemetery santa ana ca

tombstones seiter once upon a time an angel cemetery santa ana ca