The Story of a Photographer

Pronouns: He/Him/His or They/Them/Theirs

We all have a voice that wants to ascend to a place where it can be heard... The desire for ascension in what I create to be seen by the world. Ascending your voice activates something unique and profound in the viewer. 

As a TRANSPERSONAL Photographer, Azul DelGrasso, MA is a teacher at bringing forth the multidimensionality of a person! With the camera as a tool with soul understanding, he explores beyond the veil of the participant so that they are fully revealed. His passion and sensitivity ultimately open the one in front of him into their magnificent person to be acknowledged through self-reflection in the form of a photograph, allowing their voice to ascend. Clients say the gifts that come from the photoshoot itself are equally as valuable as the beautiful and diverse images they receive. 

“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.”


Azul's work captures the duality of the human race: saint and deviant, using sexuality, culture, and street influence. His work reflects the mixture of traditional and conservative values with modern identities with an emphasis on his LGBTQ2S+GNC community.

Azul's artistic journey began as a teen with graffiti and tagging in the barrios (mean streets) of Denver and New York City. These early days in the streets taught and inspired him, but left him questioning cultural roots and their influence on the individual, society, and the impact they would have on his art. He packed his bags and embarked on a long journey to explore the origin of his story. He first found his way to Guadalajara, Mexico, where he studied with well-known Mexican painter Alberto Ortiz in Jocotepec, Jalisco. Alberto taught Azul the value of observing the indigenous roots of Mexico while allowing the art to invite the community to take part in the process of creation. It was also the influences of local Denver mentors, poets, and icons such as Ramon DelCastillo, Carlos Fresquez, Lorenzo Ramirez, Corky Gonzalez, and others who further inspired Azul to embrace this approach. These experiences enabled him to develop artwork inspired by introspection.


“my MISSION IS TO USE THE ART OF PHOTOGRAPHY AND TRANSPERSONAL ECOPSYCHOLOGY TO AWAKEN THE BELOVED WITHIN and reconnecting the self to gaia.”


The journey begins

Azul's artistic journey began as a teen with graffiti and tagging in the barrios (mean streets) of Denver and New York City. These early days in the streets taught and inspired him, but left him questioning cultural roots and their influence on the individual, society, and the impact they would have on his art. He packed his bags and embarked on a long journey to explore the origin of his story. He first found his way to Guadalajara, Mexico, where he studied with well-known Mexican painter Alberto Ortiz in Jocotepec, Jalisco. Alberto taught Azul the value of observing the indigenous roots of Mexico while allowing the art to invite the community to take part in the process of creation. It was also the influences of local Denver mentors, poets, and icons such as Ramon DelCastillo, Carlos Fresquez, Lorenzo Ramirez, Corky Gonzalez, and others who further inspired Azul to embrace this approach. These experiences enabled him to develop artwork inspired by introspection.

This intimate journey of self-expression continued with the experimentation of digital art and the creation of what he coined as Chicano Digitalism. This was a pure expression of any artistic emotion created and transformed by modern technology utilizing drawing, photography, film, music, three-dimensional imagery, sculpture, web design, poetry, and performance art, mainly addressing Mexican Americans. Through this medium, Azul sought to better capture icons such as Che Guevara, Frida Kahlo, Pancho Villa, and Emilio Zapata in a new light, but simultaneously allowing greater freedom to identify new heroes and revolutionaries.

However, it was in 2006 that Azul tried something completely new. Realizing that digital art was "the" art for the masses, it, however, took away from the uniqueness of the artist who was creating it. Taking a dramatic turn of mediums, he co-founded L.A. Burlesque that over the course of the next four years would document striptease performers in Los Angeles through photography, talent management and show production. Although his focus was on the production side of the business and never picked up a camera, Azul had no idea how being around so many photographers would influence the next stage of his life…

Once again, 2010, something unexpected happened for Azul, after having worked in HIV prevention for the previous fifteen years, he was allowed to coordinate and plan a continental forty-eight state tour conducting free HIV screenings at over fifty-seven locations. A week before he left, Azul decided to pick up a camera and document in forty-eight states people living with HIV/AIDS. Over the next 236 days, he documented people who worked in the realm of HIV/AIDS but also those living and dealing with the disease daily. As cliché it is to say, "the camera found me, I didn't find the camera," this is indeed the case in the artwork of Azul today.

Experiences like Azul's has allowed the artwork to speak about the innovation of creative mediums. A process of generating meaning through visual interpretations of history, politics, social justice, while pushing the envelope. Color creates emotion, the emotion takes shape, and the art takes life. This is the result of being surrounded by poets, activists, painters, street artists, and photographers all one's life.

“"My experience allows me to focus on innovative disciplines such as burlesque, music and film, poetry, and real-life experience through the lens of the camera. I call it rare insight into subculture and mass behavioral patterns through the transpersonal lens celebrating my LGBTQ2S+GNC community,"”