Estevan Oriol Brought Eastside Lowriders to Hollywood at Milk L.A.
Great art brings people together, and great parties get everyone dancing–especially when there are seven badass lowriders waiting to challenge you to a booty bounce contest. For the lucky patrons at Milk Studios L.A. this past weekend, they got to experience the art party of the summer, thanks to the work of Los Angeles icon Estevan Oriol. After some gentle prodding to show his work by the self-proclaimed Mr. Milk L.A. Willie Maldonado, Oriol stepped away from the streets of East L.A. and brought the crew he’d been photographing for years to Milk for Estevan Oriol: California Love.
Given his wide-ranging career, which included everything from a Cypress Hill tour manager to serving as the visual historian of East L.A.’s gang members, it’s no wonder the exhibition was so unapologetically unique to Oriol’s diverse character–right down to the crowd. Oriol’s longtime subjects partied alongside Milk’s usual cast of cool kids and scenesters–including musicians Will.i.am, Prayers and Death Grips. As the crowd sipped rosé and walked through the pavilion into a studio adorned with his photos, a sense of awe overcame the guests. But it was nothing compared to what was waiting for them.
Away from the bright gallery lights and portraits, the crowd walked into Milk’s massive, infamous hangar (which is literally the size of the stuff you see in airports) and experienced the most raging second half of a gallery exhibition ever. There were lowriders everywhere –it was so lit. The crowd of families, friends, and the coolest kids in Hollywood came together to dance it out and celebrate Oriol’s diverse range of work, enjoying an ode to one of the most engaging neighborhoods he’s ever shot. Inside and outside of the frames hung in the gallery, California Love brought Los Angeles together for a night.
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