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.
Format: Clothbound hardcover, 144 pages, 75 color photographs
Dimensions: 12.25" x 12.25" x 0.75"
Weight: 3.39 pounds
Printed: Trifolio, Verona, Italy
Publication Date: January 2024
Retail: $55.00 USD
Wholesale Inquiries: email@example.com
Co-founder Los Angeles Lowrider Community and President of Just Memories Car Club, Juan Ramirez
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.
Curator, Wallis Annenberg Photography Department Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Eve Schillo
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.
Co-founder Dukes Car Club, Oscar Ruelas, “The Godfather of Lowriding”
I don’t think anybody has given us the credit and taken the time to understand our history like Kristin Bedford has. We are not going to talk to just anybody but we knew we could trust her and she would listen. With her book, she is doing something good for the lowrider community.
Royal Photographic Society Journal
Los Angeles-based documentary photographer Kristin Bedford spent five years living with and observing the lowriding communities of LA. The result is a photobook infused with colour that gets behind the stereotypes of a testosterone-fuelled culture.... a joyful visual tribute to lowriding.
CNN Style, Jacqui Palumbo
A compendium of the vibrant velvet and leather interiors, wire wheels and dazzling paint jobs that make up the cars of the Mexican American lowriding community, bathed in Los Angeles' idiosyncratic golden hours or the artificial glow of ambient light at night.
Kristin Bedford set out to chronicle LA’s Mexican-American lowrider community, who drive customised cars with a lowered body. She discovered that each vehicle was a marvel of defiance and self-expression.
AnOther, Dominique Sisley
In Cruise Night, Bedford focuses mostly on women. After all, lowriding – and car culture more generally – tends to be associated with machismo, with male image-makers and subjects dominating the narrative. On the rare occasions that lowrider women are portrayed in popular culture, they are presented as cartoonish, sexual accessories to men. But in fact, Bedford argues, they’re “an integral component” to the wider movement.
Hyperallergic, Lauren Moya Ford
Bedford’s book keeps the lowrider community at its visual and conceptual center. While her crisp, sharply composed photos sensually celebrate these exquisite cars and their dedicated drivers, snippets of oral histories by lowriding club members throughout the book grant essential insight into the lives and experiences of this unique community.
Smithsonian, Nili Blanck
A series of photos that, like the cars themselves, tell a visual story of how lowriders—the term refers to both the cars and their owners—have used customization as a means of resisting a homogenizing American society that too often suppresses the creativity and pride of its [marginalized people].
Airmail, Julia Vitale
Cruise Night is a visual tribute to the generations-old L.A. Mexican-American lowrider car community and the vehicles that fuel it. “It’s colorful. It’s shiny,” says Bomb Life Car Club’s Tommy Brizuela of the lowrider. “It’s full of gleam and glamour, and it’s like rolling out the red carpet in Hollywood on a Sunday night and showing your best.”
Girl Talk HQ
Today there are tens of thousands of lowriders in Los Angeles, still, lowriding is often pigeonholed as craft or folk art and stereotyped as crude and dangerous. Through intimate and unstaged photography, Kristin reveals a different reality – a tradition of self-expression that is passed down between generations.
Hypebae, Alexandra Pauly
‘Cruise Night’ spotlights women lowriders and the rich history of car customization.
Bedford’s fascination with lowriding began when learning of the complex and sophisticated nuanced symbolism behind car customization. Cars became mobile canvases reflecting decades of identity politics and culture, allowing a platform for creativity. The legendary community embraced and welcomed Bedford over her five years of integrating and documenting their lifestyle, sharing traditions, attending hundreds of lowrider cruise nights, car shows, quinceañeras, weddings and funerals.
Metal Magazine, Romina Román
A a striking photo book that radiates warmth and a unique female perspective. The project takes us behind the curtain of this misunderstood subculture.
Flaunt, Constanza Falco Raez
Taking us behind the curtain of this misunderstood community, the photo book explores the art and symbolism of the Latinx Lowrider Car Culture, as well as the strength of its female members [...] Developed over five years and finally out now, Bedford integrated herself into the LA’s lowrider world, creating a visual tribute of the same with snippets of oral histories by members of the various clubs speaking about the culture and its impact on their lives.
Smithsonian, Jeff Campagna
Bedford emphasizes the tradition, self-expression and artistic aspects of lowriding, bringing a female point of view to car culture.
Curator of Photographs, J. Paul Getty Museum, Virginia Heckert
Cruise Night introduces a wider audience not only to that tradition and some of its members through excerpts from oral histories that Bedford conducted, but also to a quietly compelling new voice in documentary photography.
Co-founder UNC Carolina LatinX Center, Paul Cuadros
Cruise Night is a colorful ride into the soul and culture of the Latinx lowrider community in Los Angeles. Photographer Kristin Bedford reveals with sensitivity and love the stories of struggle and pride in this often misunderstood movement.