People of Northeast Los Angeles: Christopher Jesus Ocampos

My name is Christopher Jesus Ocampos. A lot of people around Frogtown know me as "Space." That's my artist name. Well I'm right here from Frogtown, I've been born here, raised here. Artist by nature, cyclist by hobby. A lot of different faces now. We have a lot more new ethnicities coming into the neighborhood, into Frogtown. Which makes it a little bit more inviting for a lot of people. It's nice to see that the neighborhood is changing and evolving with the times, instead of just staying behind and trying to have the times change for them. It's reassuring to know that things are changing for the positive here in Frogtown, as opposed to other neighborhoods that just stay in that negative zone.

My art is related with the community only in the sense that when you see it, you know that it comes out of here because it's more urban, more rural than anything. And it definitely relates with the emotions and the impact that Frogtown has when you live here and you grow up here.

"Now seeing your nephews growing up is, do you see a big difference between your time and their time?"

Dramatically. Seeing him growing up here is different for the fact that he has a lot more resources at his disposal that we didn't have growing up here in Frogtown, in my time. Like I said, it's nice to see the positive changes that are happening, especially how they affect the children that are growing up here because I can just see that it's going to be nothing but positive for the youngsters growing up as they get older here, and for the future generations to come as well. The river it's evolving to become something spectacular, that's a for sure right there. To see where it started off at when I was a kid and to see where it's at now it's a powerful change. It brings in a lot more positivity for this neighborhood and all those connected to it. So, it's only going to get better and I can't wait to see how it progresses throughout the years. So, there's a lot more projects involved. So, I can't wait to see how it all ends.

You live here in Frogtown and you become a part of it. So when things change you feel it whether you know it or not. So, the more positive that this neighborhood gets, the more positive people's attitudes seem to change.

Just the love for this neighborhood. People underestimate it, people pass by Frogtown and they just think that it has this stigma of being this really bad place but it's not. If you just come in here and see it for what it actually is, and walk around and get to know some of the great people around here you'll start to see a different side of it.


The above interview is transcribed and edited from the following interview:

About People of
Northeast Los Angeles
These are stories from the everyday people that make-up Northeast Los Angeles, particularly the neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Cypress Park, Glassell Park, Lincoln Heights, and Elysian Valley. See some of our featured portraits below, explore by neighborhood, or see all the stories.





About the Author

For the past twenty years, Chilean born Ricardo Palavecino has been developing his skills as a cinematographer working on documentaries, feature films, television shows, and commercials.
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