Arts & Life, Photo Gallery

The art of community: Backyard Boogie brings Live Art to Grey LB

Local art studio Grey LB, in collaboration with Los Angeles-based photographer James Alvidrez, came together for a community live art experience in the heart of Downtown Long Beach.

James Alvidrez, commonly known to friends and photographers as OG Billy the Kid was greeting every attendee at the door, welcoming all to stop by for a tattoo, or even just stay for the music and ambience of community.
James Alvidrez, commonly known to friends and photographers as OG Billy the Kid was greeting every attendee at the door, welcoming all to stop by for a tattoo, or even just stay for the music and ambience of community. Photo credit: Renzo Pocasangre

“Photography, art, tattoos, music… it’s all a form of art, so with this we decided to make a collaboration…to celebrate the culture around us,” Alvidrez said.

 

Alvidrez, known around the photography community as “OG BillyTheKid,” grew a keen eye for the city of Los Angeles. Born out of South Central L.A., Alvidrez developed a style of photography influenced by his transition from the prison system to reaching sobriety and his connection to the church. Alvidrez now has five years under his belt as an experienced photographer, with a successful network of driven artists and collaborators.

Backyard Boogie is a way for James Alvidrez to present his art, along with fellow collaborators and friends from the photography and street culture community. Alvidrez's photos were printed on canvas and later painted on by varying tattoo artists, placed on display.
Backyard Boogie is a way for James Alvidrez to present his art, along with fellow collaborators and friends from the photography and street culture community. Alvidrez’s photos were printed on canvas and later painted on by varying tattoo artists, placed on display. Photo credit: Renzo Pocasangre

Robert Marquez, co-owner of Grey LB, explained how mutual friends quickly transitioned into a small, community driven live art event. Marquez expressed his desire to expand reach to the community of Long Beach through art. After frequent traveling for events, and the birth of two kids, Marquez felt inclined to work with events closer to home. The move back to Long Beach with the newly acquired co-ownership of Grey LB provided the perfect location for Backyard Boogie. Alvidrez has managed to create a network of expressive artists, despite focusing on his goals as a photographer

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“I picked up a camera about one year after I got out of prison, and it changed my life around. It kind of gives me a space to be creative and also keeps me grounded with freedom of expression,” Alvidrez said.

With the help of the CEO of SRVNTZ, Alvidrez’s friend and fellow brand collaborator named Los, Los and Alvidrez developed a creative outlet for themselves through their branding and art collaborations. Backyard Boogie is gaining traction among the local photography community of Los Angeles, and with the event based out of Long Beach, it represents a vital part of the Long Beach artists community. Be sure to follow Alvidrez’s social media at ogbillythekid and Los at srvntz for future popup events coming to Long Beach. Be sure to check out local art studio GreyLB located in downtown Long Beach for more information regarding local art displays.

 

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