A photography exhibit tells the stories of automotive culture in NM

“Con Confianza, Nathalia Florez” by Jessica Roybal. (Courtesy of Jessica Roybal)

Jessica Roybal captures images of everyday life.

She often travels around New Mexico to recount these moments.

It is the lowrider culture that is close to his heart.

It’s also why Roybal teamed up with fellow photographer Kevin Beltran for “Rollin Forever,” which is on display at Lapis Room in Old Town until June 27. The Lapis Room will also be hosting a Father’s Day reception from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, June 19. .

Roybal and Beltran have complementary styles and the gallery asked them to mount their own exhibition.

Roybal grew up in Llano Quemado, a small community south of Taos. Meanwhile, Beltran grew up in Zuni Pueblo.

“We thought, ‘Why not do some new content?’ ” she says. “For the past eight years, I’ve been chasing the lowrider scene. If I’m not on a cruise, I will photograph the events. People have started to recognize who I am and they will let me get vaccinated.

Roybal has earned a lot of trust helping to tell people’s stories within the lowrider culture.

“They’re so passionate about what they’re doing with their investments,” she says. “It’s a culturally rich scene that we have. It spans several generations and becomes a family affair. This is something that we wanted to highlight in the show. It is an art form that is passed down from generation to generation.

“Across the Dash” by Kevin Beltran. (Courtesy of Kevin Beltran)

Roybal says his father had a yard full of Volkswagens and often used them for parts.

“Now that I’m older, I enjoy this work more,” she says. “That’s also what led me to chase these cars.”

For the project, Roybal and Beltran interviewed 16 families.

The series was documented and assembled over a period of three months as the couple traveled to Taos, Chimayó, Santa Fe, Bernalillo and Albuquerque. The approach to this project has evolved with the meeting of new faces and a range of vehicle collections.

“Families invited us into their homes, shared their stories, and gave this series an unprecedented inside look rather than the common perspective exterior look of a photographer,” says Roybal. “This corpus contains thousands of images. We both had to cut it down to produce the show. There are seven images per piece of the two of us.

Roybal hopes the show will be a traveling exhibit in the future.

“There’s a sense of pride in every lowrider,” she says. “These are snapshots of the bigger picture that represents the culture.”

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