An Inside Conversation with Jonathan Rodriguez

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Loud, frenetic and perfectly chaotic -- it's hard to imagine capturing those qualities in a medium so invested in securing stand-still moments. This is where San Diego-based artist Jonathan Rodriguez's street photography truly shines. Whether it's images focused on the blurred tips of skaters hovering mid-action or portraits of friends in the midst of that same energy, each shot carries a weight of force and movement that demands attention.

Rodriguez's first solo photo exhibit Crossing Out opens at the 3192 Gallery this Saturday, February 24th. Along with displaying work, Crossing Out will also feature Rodriguez's first zine release, along with curated DJ sets of oldies and slow jams. We were lucky enough to get a word in with the photographer before the show, read below to get the scoop.

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First and foremost, can you give us a little introduction. 
My name is Jonathan Rodriguez and I'm a photographer based out of San Diego, CA.

Where did the handle Crossed Out originate?
I had a couple random handles before, but Crossed Out is originally a first wave powerviolence band from the 90s. They're one of the fastest and heaviest of all time. They started up in Encinitas, which is a neighboring city to my hometown of San Marcos. Nobody really leaves a legacy, let alone does anything in North County. I've always loved fast music so I changed my instagram name in respects to them.

Do you remember your first memory with a camera?
I've always enjoyed taking random pictures on my phone just to document my days and travels. I've also always liked the look of film so i thought to myself, "Why not just take these pictures with an actual camera?" One day I told my homie Albert (who's been shooting photos for a decade now) that I was interested in shooting film so he handed me my first camera at Nature World Night Out 2016. It wasn't until a few months later for Chicano Park day that I actually used it for the first time. Ever since then i've been hooked.

It’s evident that the connection y’all got at 3192 is very strong. How’d you all end up linking up?
We've all been friends for a while now, some longer than others. I've known Benji since middle school and he's been one of my longest standing homies. I met Alby early 2013 through his cousin. We all started talking music / skating / art then hung out at a Nails/Soul Search show in Vista. I met Alley through going to local shows in North County. Jon moved down from the I.E about a year and a half ago. He already knew Alby so one day we all just met up, started skating, talking film and became homies. There's too many to name, but shout out Tavo, Andrew, Thomas, Donnie, Uriel, Booch and anyone that hangs out or has supported us in any way.  

It seems like hardcore music and skating has played big roles in your life. How has that energy influenced your work?
It's crazy to think that hardcore is the reason why i'm the way I am now. After High School and once I got a little bit of money from working, it gave me an excuse to get out, explore and become familiar with new cities. I was spending weekends out in LA for years. I'd hit multiple music/art shows/museums and those were the shows that inspired me to get involved and try it out for myself. Skating has helped a lot too cause I can always cruise through a random neighborhood with friends and shoot whatever catches my attention.   

As an artist, what do you see as your next step?
I just started out so I still have a lot to learn. I plan to keep studying, meet new people, learn alternative printing techniques, more printed work, shows at different galleries, shooting as much as possible, but most importantly, having fun with everything as I go.

Pick one:

Wisin Y Yandel or Don Omar
El Mas Combonero, Don Omar.

Starshots shoot with Selena or be in a remake of Wassup Rockers
I love Wassup Rockers, but I'd definitely have to go with starshots shoot with the queen. RIP. 

Lil Rob “Summer Nights” or Have Heart’s Songs To Scream At The Sun
Lil Rob. He's a local legend and cause he's right -- there's nothing like kicking back with your homies on a warm summer night!

ANDY INTERNETS