Known for her quiet portraits of American cultural movements, Kristin Bedford’s new work, Cruise Night, is an intimate and unstaged exploration of Mexican American lowrider car culture in Los Angeles. From 2014 to 2019 she attended hundreds of lowrider cruise nights, car shows, quinceañeras, weddings and funerals. Bedford’s images offer a new visual narrative around the lowrider tradition and invite us to question prevalent societal stereotypes. Located at the intersection of aesthetics and social realism, her photographs explore the nuance of cars as mobile canvases and the legendary community that creates them. With the bold language of color photography and the female vantage point, Cruise Night is an original look at a prolific American movement set against the Los Angeles cityscape.
Kristin Bedford appreciates the sensitivity of our culture and Cruise Night is an amazing representation of lowriding. We are always being stereotyped but by riding with us she understands what we are really about and what we do. She has earned the respect of the lowrider community by not just making a book but by living the life with us. We will always be thankful that she’s one of the very few that got it right. Like the saying goes, “one rides, we all ride” and she’s riding along with us.” – Juan Ramirez, Co-founder Los Angeles Lowrider Community and President of Just Memories Car Club
One part family album in its prosaic depiction of the lowrider community, one part a poetic, electric, color filled photographic embrace of an often stereotyped subculture, Bedford’s approach in Cruise Night captivates with its uniquely female gaze, a rarity in car culture across genres. – Eve Schillo, Assistant Curator, Wallis Annenberg Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art