Inside Estevan Oriol’s Iconic Photography

To put it simply Estevan Oriol has influenced countless artists, photographers and creatives around the world with his iconic viewpoint and tireless work ethic. When you get a little more complex, Oriol has photographed musicians, models, athletes, movie stars and gangsters with equal attention to detail that has made him a go-to director and photographer around the world. For his debut RUN Oriol brings us Rascal In The ’47 Fleetline available in a fine art paper edition as well as a aluminum edition. Read on as Oriol gives us the lowdown on the image, his background and much more…

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1x Thru Interview
Rascal In The ’47 Fleetwood by Estevan Oriol

1x: Tell us a little bit about this image, anything immediate you would like us to highlight about this photo?
Estevan Oriol: I met my friend Rascal at a wedding we were both attending some years ago, i thought he’d be cool to take photos of so i asked him, and this shot was from the first set of portraits we took, ever since then we’ve become good friends, at the moment he’s incarcerated finishing a 3 year term in state prison.

1x: Was this body of work part of a recent theme, series or show that you had?
Oriol: I recently had my best solo show ever at Milk Studios Los Angeles. My friend Willie, who is a partner at Milk, offered me a show that related to my latest book called L.A. Portraits (available on 1xRUN) published by Drago Publishing. The book contains a lot of my work from the past 20 + years of L.A. Street Culture (Gangsters, Lowriders, Women) and this shot of Rascal in my 1947 Chevy Fleetline was in the show as well as the flyer.

1x: What camera, film and development techniques were used to create this photo?
Oriol: I shot this one with my old faithful Canon AE1 with a 35mm lens. I used arista 400 asa film, which was developed and printed by Russel over here at Schullman Photo Lab. Russel printed in the darkroom on semi gloss archival silver paper.


1x: When was this photo taken?
Oriol: That I’m not sure, I get lost with dates.

1x: Tell us how the idea and execution came about for this body of work at large and this photo specifically?
Oriol: When I first started taken photos I was really into lowriding, I had bought a 64 impala ss in 1989. By 1991 I was turning it into a lowrider thanks to my good homie Donnie Charles RIP.  Since then I’ve bought a few bikes and cars and moved them around to this date I still have my 64 impala and this 47 fleetline. Lowriding and gangsters kick it together, so here’s a lowrider kicking it with a gangster.

1x: Did much editing go into this photo or was it fairly straight out of the camera as is?
Oriol: All my street style photos have no editing, what you see is what you get. If it’s not a job or for a woman or celebrity I don’t like to edit them.


Rascal In The ’47 Fleetline – Aluminum Edition by Estevan Oriol – Click To Purchase

1x: What is unique about this photo compared with some of your other work?
Oriol: I just think it’s one of my favorite shots ever, the lighting, the car, the location, the framing, and Rascal’s look, it all goes good together.

1x: Why should people buy this one of these prints?
Oriol: To make a contribution to the Estevan Oriol Foundation of Photography, and it’s sick!

1x: Describe this piece in one gut reaction word.
Oriol: Gangster.


Rascal In The ’47 Fleetline – Fine Art Paper Edition by Estevan Oriol – Click To Purchase

1x: When did you first start taking photos?
Oriol: In the early 1990’s I’m not sure the exact year.

1x: Do you remember the first photo you took? Either just in general, or for a paid job?
Oriol: Not exactly , when i see the photos it helps me remember those times.

1x: What artists inspired you early on? Who made you want to pick up a camera?
Oriol: My pops, Eriberto Oriol.

1x: What artists inspire you now?
Oriol: Hard workers, and the good ones. There’s too many that have made it already and that are gonna make it.

1x: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
Oriol: Sometimes I’ll listen to music either hip hop or classic rock. If not while I’m shooting, then in between locations. I shoot in the streets so I’m always on the move.

1x: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why? Any deceased artists?
Oriol: My boy Mister Cartoon, we do it best together. Salvador Dali he looks nuts.

1x: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it? The last piece?
Oriol: I’m not sure, like I said my memory isn’t so hot…all them days rollin’ with Cypress Hill! Now, I trade art now days with my favorite artists.

1x: Any big shows or events coming up that you’d like to share?
Oriol: Next year is the 25th anniversary me and Mr. Cartoon have been working and kicking it together , so we have a few surprises to be released next year.


1xRUN: Where else can people find you?
Estevan Oriol: Website – Facebook @EstevanOriolPhoto – Instagram @estevanoriol + @LAwomanBook – Twitter – @jokerbrand