Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Víctor Iturria: the Basque pelotari


Víctor Iturria, the Basque pelotari admired by Churchill who destroyed Nazi tanks by throwing grenades.

In one of his first actions during the Battle of France, in 1940, he knocked out seven tanks in a single day. He was decorated on several occasions by the French Army, which still reminds him today. The Basques fought in all the stages of World War II, from the landing of Normandy to the beaches of the Pacific, through the liberation of Paris and the defenses of London. They did it in many different ways, pilots, sappers, cooks, paratroopers, armored drivers and, of course, soldiers. But above all of them stood one, a pelotari from the small town of Basusarri, now unknown to many historians, who was praised by the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, for his ability to shoot down Nazi tanks with grenades that he launched at surprising distances with his own hands. His name: Víctor Iturria.

Victor Iturria (1914 -1944) was a French paratrooper during World War II. He served as an anti-tank gunner during the Battle of France and was evacuated to England during the Battle of Dunkirk, where he joined the Free French Forces under General de Gaulle. Iturria was assigned to the Free French paratroopers that joined the British Special Air Service in North Africa, with them he took part in several raids behind enemy lines. In 1944 he parachuted into occupied France during the liberation and fought with the French Resistance in Brittany and then in Southern France, where he was killed in an ambush.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Jean-Luc Parisot, Master Saddler


Saddler at the "Ecole de Cavalerie de Saumur" for 35 years, Jean-Luc Parisot dedicated his professional life to saddle craftsmanship. Passionate about horses, rider from the age of 10, his future was all traced, the world of horse riding. He will head towards the saddlery almost by chance, having the chance to meet two great French "Master Sellier", former workers of the famous Maison "Hermes", with whom he will work for two years with the one and ten years with the other. His dexterity will push him to run for the "Meilleur Ouvriers de France" contest and will win the gold medal in 1986

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Aphrodite, Long Island


Aphrodite was built by the Purdy Boat Company and launched in May of 1937 for Wall Street financier and later Ambassador to the Court of St. James, John Hay (Jock) Whitney of Manhasset, Long Island. Best described as a “Commuter Yacht”, this elegant and sleek 74-footer would each morning whisk Mr. Whitney from his large two-story boat house westward down Long Island Sound and thru the East River to his Wall Street office. During the 45 minute commute Mr. Whitney would go up to the forward cockpit and read the Herald Tribune to catch up on the day’s news. Aphrodite's guest list over the years reads like a “Who’s Who” in the worlds of government, business and entertainment with such luminaries as Fred Astaire, Sir Laurence Olivier, Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Henry Ford II, FDR advisor Harry Hopkins and Nelson Rockefeller aboard for summer day cruises down Long Island Sound. Aphrodite also once served as the site for a birthday party for Shirley Temple. The day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mr. Whitney offered Aphrodite to the government for war service and she was commissioned in April 1942 as a Coast Guard auxiliary vessel (CGR-557). The boat spent most of its war-time career ferrying dignitaries up and down the Atlantic coast and transporting President Roosevelt to and from his home at Hyde Park on the Hudson River... continue reading

Sunday, May 26, 2019

L.A Latinas by Stefan Ruiz


Stefan Ruiz studied painting and sculpture at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the Accademia di Belle Arti, Venice, before turning to photography. In addition, he has taught art at San Quentin State Prison and was the creative director for Colors magazine from 2003 to 2004.

 Salina Zazueta-Beltrán, Isabella Ferrada, and Victoria Valenzuela in East Hollywood.

"My style is a tribute to my culture and the originals who came before me,” says Gabriela Medina, photographed here with her daughter, Aubrey at the Barrio Dandy showroom in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles.
Theodore Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles.

Isabella Ferrada is an artist, model and aspiring cinematographer. Her makeup and style is a mix of inspiration from drag culture, her mother and aunts in the 1980s and 90s, and her friends who she describes as "a group of young, queer, woke brown artists.” She wears a top from Mujerista Market designed by her friend, Salina Zazueta-Beltrán. Photographed in Westlake, Los Angeles.

View from Ascot Hills Park in East Los Angeles.

Amber Rose Comacho poses in front of a shrine for La Virgen de Guadalupe in the parking lot of El Mercado de Los Angeles in Boyle Heights.

The Westlake, Los Angeles workspace of 20 year old Chicanx fashion designer Salina Zazueta-Beltrán, who makes each piece of clothing that she sells in her online store, Mujerista Market, by hand.
Maritza Amezcua and Sailor Gonzales have known each other since middle school.

From left to right: Maya Martinez, Dorys “Dee” Araniva, Dora Araniva, and Dianna Araniva. Dorys grew up in South Central L.A.; a mother of three (her eldest serves in the US Army), she founded a clothing company called DXCollective two years ago as an artistic outlet: the designs incorporate her love for graffiti, tattoo art and Los Angeles/Chicano culture.

Melissa Hurtado, a model, artist, and zine curator identifies as Chicanx, and gender non-binary. Their work often deals with intersectional feminism, coping mechanisms, and femme safety.

A view of Downtown Los Angeles from Ascot Hills Park in East Los Angeles. Right Aubrey Camila gravitated naturally to her mother’s pachuca style of dressing, and hopes to encourage other girls to be themselves without fear. Photographed at the Barrio Dandy showroom in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles.

Ofelia Esparza and her daughter Rosanna Esparza Ahrens in front of their home in East Los Angeles. Rosanna, the fifth of nine children, is an artist and graphic designer who runs Tonalli Studio with her mother. Ofelia has lived in this neighborhood all of her life: her mother originally lived in this house, and it is four blocks from where Ofelia was born, and across the street from where she attended middle school.

Angeles Zeron was named after Los Angeles. She writes poetry, takes inspiration from Alice Bag, and is proud of her family and their history. “I don’t want my culture to be exploited or to be a fashion trend,” she says. She was photographed in Crenshaw.

Ofelia Esparza, 85, is a master altar maker and lifelong resident of East Los Angeles. As an artist and educator, she has dedicated her life to her community and to continuing traditions she learned from her mother. She is well-known for the public ofrendas she creates each year in celebration of El Día de Los Muertos. She was photographed at Tonalli Studio, an art space she runs with her daughter, Rosanna, in Old Town Maravilla, in East L.A. 

An altar to María Felix by Dorys “Dee” Araniva in Westchester, Los Angeles. 

Monday, May 20, 2019

SS United States


SS United States is a retired ocean liner built in 1950–51 for the United States Lines at a cost of US$79.4 million. The ship is the largest ocean liner constructed entirely in the United States and the fastest ocean liner to cross the Atlantic in either direction, retaining the Blue Riband for the highest average speed since her maiden voyage in 1952. She was designed by American naval architect William Francis Gibbs and could be converted into a troopship if required by the Navy in time of war. The United States maintained an uninterrupted schedule of transatlantic passenger service until 1969 and was never used as a troopship.