Thursday, January 13, 2011

Interview: Eriberto Oriol

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Eriberto Oriol.

Manone, Me, Eriberto at Crewest

It was about the time my first Juxtapoz article came out, and they wanted to shoot a portrait along with it. I was paired with Eriberto and struck up an immediate friendship. He is a superbly talented photographer and has great vision, but I was also happy to glean off of his knowledge and stories of being a father and raising his family all around Southern California. His pictures capture a raw aspect of the subject matter he shoots. Eriberto is a class act and I am proud to know him and share this interview and these images with you:

GS: So How about a little background? When and where were you born and where did you grow up?
EO: I was born in Indio, CA and grew up in Varrio Logan, a community of San Diego, CA

GS: How did you get started in photography?
EO: By working on community social, political, and environmental issues affecting Varrio Logan.

GS: Of all the spots you have shot, which stand out as your favorite?
EO: Its hard to say but I love shooting on streets of downtown LA, in LA River and Belmont Tunnel when they were graffiti active.

GS: When did your interest in graffiti as a subject matter begin?
EO: In 1989 when stumbled into Belmont as Hex and Slick were in their first graf battle.

GS: Your work has a voyeuristic fly on the wall appeal especially pieces like "The Thinker" and "America's Most Wanted... Do you find patience and waiting for the perfect shot comes easy?
EO: Most of the time it just presents itself out of no wheres and in a moment.. I never know when it is going to jump out at me nor do I plan for it. When its there its there and its all over in seconds.

GS: Is there one particular shot that stands out to you as your favorite?
EO: No, but some my favorites are America's Most Wanted, The Thinker, I Have A Dream, LA Landscape, Where's Jesus, First Love and several from graffiti and the women I'v photographed.

GS: Are there photographers you are inspired by?
EO: Ansel Adams, Luis Bravo, Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon and Andre Breton just to name a few. Most important ever since I got back into shooting after about a 15 year absence, my son Estevan. He pulled me back into it 5 years ago. He really knows how to capture the essence of a persons character and the rawness of life.

GS: What does a basic day look like for you?
EO: First my wife and I spent a couple hours together, I workout a bit, look through fotos, and go for some walks throughout the day and evening, take a few shots here and there unless I have a specific shoot which then becomes a project.

GS: I have found that you have great fatherly advice and respect your views on family, how important are the relationships with your family to your creative process?
EO: I have 2 families. My personal and artist family. Both are equally significant. They both carry me through life, giving it purpose and meaning. I'm closest to my wife Angelica, son Estevan, sister Rita, artist friend Oscar Duardo, and Jorge Parra.

GS: What do you so when you are not making photos?
EO: Look at documentaries on various subjects in the arts, science, politics, environment, astronomy, autobiographies and love to walk around LA just checking all what is here.

GS: What is new in the works for us to keep our eyes out for?
EO: The main thing is to share my artwork with a larger audience through my photography through my and my wife's website To get back into drawing, painting and sculpture, and to continue to exhibit. Further more to simplify my life even more so and just to make and enjoy each day my most important and of coarse to cherish my wife Angelica till my last breath.

Thanks Eriberto. Now you out there go spend some time checking out His work at , , and

Here are a couple photos Eriberto made a while ago of my largest painting to date
"In Sleep"
Acrylic on canvas

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