Sunday, August 16, 2009
Taco trucks of Oakland
Tacos Guadalajara, Oakland, August 2009.
After a week of hand-wringing, I shot the taco truck project yesterday. The entire family joined me for support and the chance to gorge themselves with freshly-made carnitas. The pictures, like Mexico itself, are remarkable for the mad melange of colors, but disappointing for the lack of activity in them. I was expecting to find humanity feasting around the trucks; instead I found a smattering of weekend patrons standing on empty parking lots, a bad day for action photography.
I decided to make portraits of the taco workers. In naming the pictures, I took a cue from Philip-Lorca diCorsia's Hollywood Hustler series, and listed the following information in the titles: the subject's name, name of taco truck, city or state where subject originally came from, and the average number of tacos sold daily.
I learned two things from the project: (1) that I'm a bolder photographer than I thought I was; and (2) that I've been a fool for ignoring the taco trucks right in my own backyard. At $1.25 a pop, they're a steal and certainly the tastiest morsels I ever had outside of Mexico itself.
I'm meeting with the exhibition organizers tomorrow. I don't know if any of these images will make the final cut, but I will let you know. Pass or fail, I now know where the best taco trucks are, and that's good enough for me.
Osvaldo, Mi Grullense, Jalisco, 300-400 tacos a day
Fernando, Tacos Guadalajara, Jalisco, 250 tacos a day
Vicky, Tacos El Gordo, Vera Cruz, 200 tacos a day
Primos Jesus y Miguel, Tacos Los Michoacanos, Michoaca, 200 tacos a day
EZ, taco fan, Tacos El Novillo