Gang signs are cool when you’re flashing them in the break room to intimidate your white co-workers, but in all seriousness, I’ve can’t endorse it regardless of how many red stars Birdman decides to tattoo on his skull. While a lot of artistic portrayals of gang life attempt to glorify or shame it, Adam Amengual has taken a different route.
“Homies” is a portrait series Amengual has put together with the help of Homeboy Industries – an Los Angeles-based non-profit that helps at-risk and formerly gang involved youth to change their lives by offering a variety of services to help them get on a different path. A good friend of mine worked at Homeboy for a year, so seeing Fr. Greg Boyle’s involvement in Homies made me give it a second look. Talking about his project, Amengual explains:
A majority, if not everyone in this series has had a mug shot taken of them at one time in their past. I feel I have flipped that old image of them showing them as proud and iconic. It is a visual metaphor for the transformation they are bringing to their own lives.
Needless to say, the pictures are dope. You can check out some more below.