Return to the City of Angels
In “LA Portraits,” the globally acclaimed street photographer, Estevan Oriol, delves into the pulsating gang culture that permeates the City of Angels. “LA Portraits” and its highly acclaimed predecessor, “LA Woman” also published by Drago, together encapsulate a genuine perspective on the diverse inhabitants of Los Angeles.
This collection boasts over one hundred iconic images meticulously selected from Oriol’s captivating and extensive archive, spanning more than two decades. Each photograph is captured on film, offering the viewer an exceptional and profound insightful expedition into the heart of LA’s urban gangland.
Lowriders and post ups
“L’Oiel De La Photographie” acknowledges this compelling journey portrayed by Estevan Oriol. It’s a journey of men donning guns, sunglasses, and masks, of impromptu memorials dotting the sidewalks where tragic events unfolded. It’s a world marked by vivid colours, specific patterns like plaid, and attire including bandanas and baseball caps. We discover where lowriders gracefully cruise along, where individuals are firmly “posted up,” wearing the distinctive uniform of the streets.
Miss Rosen eloquently describes Oriol’s photographic series as an “an unforgettable voyage to another time and place”. It’s a world where young men, on the cusp of adulthood, frequent tattoo parlours to begin the transformation of their bodies through ink. Estevan Oriol’s work captures the essence of this indelible odyssey, unique in time and space, preserving it for all to witness and reflect upon.
Keep it real
Estevan Oriol keeps it real when he says, “They are not all monsters.” He recognises that within this community, you’ll find a diverse range of individuals—some are cool, some are wild, and, yes, some can be difficult. However, the majority are genuinely good people, which is why he chooses to spend time with them. It’s more than just a group; it’s a brotherhood, a family. It’s about sharing moments at barbecues, cruising in lowriders, spending time together, reminiscing about school days, and, yes, acknowledging the harsh realities of life—guns, drugs, and everything in between.
Printed in Italy