Alex Gutierrez, who often goes under the moniker Mocha Freeman, is a 22 year old photographer and visual artist based out of Fresno, California. Having never really ventured far from Fresno, he has come to love the strange town with the larger than life characters that inhabit it. His work is strongly tied to his personal life, and is mostly centered around youth subculture and rural-suburbia. Alex often enjoys sneaking into concerts, good home cooked meals, and 5.5 hours of sleep when he can manage. He is currently attending California State University of Fresno where he is pursuing a B.S. in Business Marketing and minor in Media Arts.
In this fast-paced era, we live in a society of yearners, for whom it seems only commodity can equal true happiness. We picture ourselves at this point longing to be at another without taking much time to appreciate and realize where we’re really at, which is right in the middle.
Home to a little over 500,000 people, the city of Fresno lies directly in the heart of California. Founded in the 1870’s, Fresno holds a deep history of agriculture, farm labor, drugs, gangs, and brutally warm weather. Coined as a literal melting pot, Fresno sits as an agricultural hub for the Central Valley and has easily become one of the most culturally diverse and unique cities in California. A lot of the young people that grow up here either love it or plot to leave the first chance that they get, only to meekly return from a short-lived time in LA or San Francisco; This process of hopes and reality a strange cyclical curse.
The Middle, is an ongoing portrait project centered around youth and it’s subcultures, and the transition from adolescences to adulthood in Fresno, California.
Growing up in search for identity in itself can be a very difficult thing. You’re not quite a kid anymore, but you don’t really feel like an adult, so you find yourself stuck somewhere in the middle. Through photographing the youth culture of Fresno, I hope to share with you the real-life movie characters that they play and the colorful subcultures that exist here.
To view more of Alex Gutierrez’s work please visit his website.