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You know that's where I spend most of my time, there at
Senegal. I left when I was 18 and now I'm 42, I've been
Everywhere in the world so far. But this is the longest
I've ever stayed somewhere else.
-Aziz, Artist and owner of Aziz Gallery
 Judging from the large amount of work that is immaculately displayed in
the quaint gallery, Aziz is undoubtedly a prolific artist. His
inspirations are fueled in part from his constant wandering and
experience of every day life. His work has been recognized in local and national galleries, and he has commissioned to official prints ofcultural festivals such as New Orleans' Mardi Gras. Often times, with every month of the year Aziz finds himself in a different location, both in the United States and abroad. And, has probably seen more of the United States than many American born citizens, as he continuously drives across country for his staple income. A feat he has been doing repeatedly for about a decade now.xxxv Time is spent between his adopted American continent and that of his west African homeland. His presence
is a reflection of the artistic and cultural rebirth that Leimert Park has been experiencing the last few years. Aziz's gallery is located on the upper level of the same two story building which houses Flower Nuts Florist, a beauty salon and a clothing line.

The gallery space in and of itself highlights the use of art. Glazed,
burned in etchings adorn the wood paneling of the stairs leading to
gallery and the U-shaped gallery floor. The white plastered walls have
embedded in them tiny images and shells which add greater depth to the
non-uniformed walls whose built-in cracks serve both as home to these
permanent gifts and as backdrop to bright and bold colored original art
by Aziz. The art ranges in sizes and patterns, however, a common thread
is that familiar scenes involving Africans or African-Americans are
evidently favored.

In describing his artistic muses, Aziz states his paintings are inspired my distinct and familiar moments. "It's just when and what I feel in a particular moment. I just want to paint the moment and after I finish the work, I'm released." There are times when a moment of interest appears, but he most hold onto it to paint later. He points to an example. The painting is of a woman caught in an instance of surprise when her companion, "a man who never really gives flowers, and he comes with a     flower."xxxvi The woman portrayed sees this and is shocked. Her expression is vibrantly expressed on canvas with a open, smiling mouth, a hand n the table and chest sucked upward awhile gazing at the flower in front of her. While the images themselves are eye catching, what is even more striking is the fact that Aziz has achieved prominence in the arts without any formal training, which he felt "would had been fun."xxxvii

When asked what abut Leimert Park has held his attention for the past
five years of being a common sight Aziz suggests it is his own decision
to be apart of the community. In his response also is evidence of how
informal networking and word of mouth increases the positive exposure of
the Village.

If it was about money, than this is the wrong place for me
to go and come and show work. But I'm trying, instead of
being in Beverly Hills or something like that. I think that if I
am here long enough, I do business with everybody else. There
is no discrimination. But I can bring people here. By me
bringing them here, they don't have to come and buy my work,
but they can come here and accidentally see something they
wouldn't have necessarily seen if I didn't have the contacts
to bring them here.
In comparison to Senegal, the Southern California climate and landscape
is similar and reminiscent according to Aziz. Leimert Park's high
concentration of African-Americans mirrors his mother country. This is
"the beauty of it, that it's mainly Black." It provides a state of
comfort that "can happen only when you are the majority." However, he
acknowledges that the success of the Village relies partially on support
from outside the immediate community. An article in the Los Angeles
Times suggests that it is location that is readily accessible.
        A place where on a recent Friday night, people strolled the streets at
        midnight without fear. They browsed through cluttered art galleries,
        shopped for handmade earrings and drank espresso at sidewalk tables
        while listening to smoky sounds of jazz.

        It's the kind of place Los Angeles often dreams of being. But dream no

        With so much of Los Angeles so often dismissed as a wasteland of crack
        and gangs, the Southwest L.A. neighborhood call Leimert Park is a
        little known diamond in the rough that rises above the urban madness.
        It is a haven for artists, poets, and musicians and a tribute to the success
        of a string of businesses owned and operated by African-Americans.xxxix

Aziz suggests other similarities between Leimert Park and Senegal. Both
have an abundance of Black images and a more homogenous social mindset.
"Everything is you. You get to the plane and the pilot is Black. You now everything, The guy who gave you a flower is Black. And the guy who will come and rob you is Black."xxxx

Aziz's self-described involvement in Leimert Park is viewed as being both "temporary and permanent" because of constant traveling. Locals offer a different view. Through out the interview there were interruptions of the curious who walked upstairs to the gallery to view his work while the hum of his pager continuously signaled calls as far away as Europe and Africa. What prompted the best illustration of this artist's communal concern were also obviously both slightly curious and irritated at my presence, they probably could not afford a print copy of his work. Yet, these three young school children, a girl and two boys, who requested Aziz's attention as if they were asking for that of an older, doting sibling; and promptly received it.