The GYZA³ is Life


I have a new favorite Purikura booth (sorry Candy Carnival). Gyza³ is the vanity purikura machine of Japanese fashion designer Alisa Ueno. To put it in perspective, if the GYZA³ was made in the west it would feature Kylie Jenner or Tavi Gevinson. You can see Ueno’s presentation of the booth at her blog here: It’s kind of fascinating to see how she presents her self-portraits using her own designs and aesthetics.


The Gyza³ represents a lot of the current trends with modern purikura machines. Gone are the gaudy sparkles, starbursts, and wacky character stamps that were used to create campy garish portraits. You don’t even pick your backgrounds until you decorate your photos. Gyza³ and its generation of purikura booths aim for a transformative glam experience that smooths your skin, enlarges your eyes, and reshapes your body. Instead of wacky characters your decorative options are mostly text and phrases, instead of flashy sparkles we get hearts and photorealistic jeweled objects, the results are magical realism throwbacks to the 80’s.

In the past month I’ve visited San Francisco’s local Gyza³ booth at Pika Pika with several artists. Below are portraits of myself and Rob Fatal, J. Leimone, Margarita Azucar, and Sarah Guerra.

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I haven’t looked that young and skinny in a decade. For a mere $12, Gyza³ will give you images of yourself that rival the photoshopped gloss of most magazine covers while a Japanese cover of Ariana Grande’s Break Free plays in the background. I’m all about it!

Margarita Azucar in the Gyza³

More Gyza³ portraits coming soon!




Last One to Leave, Please Turn Off the Lights

There have been so many big life changes since I last posted. I plan on resuming my blogging once again now that things have settled down a little bit. In the meantime you can listen to my appearance on the Porchlight Storytelling Series Podcast. I collaborated with my dad to tell a story about OJ Simpson and my 8th Grade Graduation. You can download the mp3 HERE

It was a thrill to be invited by the host of the podcast Beth Lisick. She’s been one of my favorite writers since high school and I got her to officiate my re-graduation from the 8th grade. It was a dream come true! Thanks Beth!

I’ll be back soon!




El Rio’s Valentine’s Day Cards 2015


Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my friends and lovers! El Rio’s Valentine’s Day Cards are back in the mix to get their kicks! This is the 9th year of my cards and it’s turned into my longest running project yet. Enjoy! As always, please post these cards on the pages of your online friends, craigslist booty calls, instagram crushes, sanchas, OK Cupid regrets, and people you sext on snapchat. To see a complete collection of El Rio’s Valentine’s Day Cardsvisit:












Visions at Twilight


I also wanted to share a few photos from my annual Dia de los Muertos photoshoot with Mayra HellaBreezy Ramirez. We had an interesting time working with the theme of eviction and Mayra bravely went knee deep into the freezing ocean for me. A big thanks to Miguel Bounce Perez for creating the sign that we used. You can see the full album HERE.