April 04 2011 . 04:10am

FIFTY24PDX Gallery is proud to present, “HOW THE WEST WAS ONE,” featuring photographs from Estevan Oriol (Los Angeles), Megan McIsaac (Portland), and Austin McManus (San Francisco). For this show, each photographer represents their city, the style and content unique to artist and landscape. What links these three disparate artists is residing on the West Coast, and the medium by which they express themselves and reflect what they see around them.

Estevan Oriol began his career in the entertainment industry in the late 1980′s as a club bouncer at Los Angeles’ most popular Hip Hop clubs and infamous Hollywood hangouts. It was there that Estevan first linked up with his Soul Assassin brothers from South Gate, Cypress Hill. Eager to expand his knowledge of the business, Estevan secured a job as tour manager for the rap group, House of Pain, in 1992.
Estevan invoked his unique photography style to catalog the outrageous experiences he had on tour and began taking pictures of his neighborhood homies and the low rider culture. He had a gift for capturing the raw essence of street life through his photography. Within a short time, he became one of the most sought after photographers of the Urban and Hip Hop community. His work has been featured in magazines world-wide including: COMPLEX, FHM, GQ, Flaunt, Details, Vibe, The Fader, and Rolling Stone.
In 2006, Estevan teamed up with clothing powerhouse, Upper Playground, noted leader in specialty artists’ inspired t-shirt lines. Estevan’s line expresses his photography on limited edition t-shirts. In its 5 season, the line and its following continues to grow at a tremendous rate.
Today, in addition to being CEO of Joker Brand Clothing and his full time career as a photographer, Estevan directs music videos for groups including Eminem, Cypress Hill, D12, Linkin Park, Blink 182, Paul Wall, P.O.D., and Xzibit. He devised shooting campaigns for Nike, Rockford Fosgate, and Cadillac. He has directed new media projects for My Cadillac stories, MTV, and Apple Computer.

Megan McIsaac lives in Portland Oregon, by way of Metro-Detroit, Michigan.
“I have never once felt as though I have belonged somewhere or have belonged with someone or some people… I don’t feel a sense of belonging. I have never been part of a clique or a group of friends and best friends have come and gone. If I am a good photographer, it is because I am an observer. I have always been the observer.”
– Megan McIsaac

“In addition to curating his monthly show at Free Gold Watch, editing books for Gingko Press, and running the always spectacular FlopBox, San Francisco resident Austin McManus also happens to be one hell of a photographer. Capturing a great shot is often times simply a matter of statistical probabilities combined with just being in the right place at the right time. A great photographer isn’t one who is lucky enough to catch the great shot, but rather one who can express an individual voice, define a moment in time, and serialize these events in a unique and inspired manner” -Hi-Fructose Magazine

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Juxtapoz Interview With Augor On His Upcoming Show “UPRISING”

March 23 2010 . 11:26pm

interview on show :

“I was getting sick of feeling like I didn’t have a story to tell besides ‘this is what happens when you take too many drugs.’” LA based graffiti artist and illustrator Augor (Juxtapoz #99) explores the inspiration and new direction behind his upcoming series, Uprising in a candid exclusive interview with Juxtapoz.

Katie Zuppann: For your new show at Fifty24PDX Gallery in Portland, you have decided to explore the gollywog (a children’s literary character from the late 19th century, inspired by a blackface minstrel doll). How do find the gollywog interesting and/or inspiring?

Augor: When staring into those big black eyes as a child, at first they resembled a shark’s eyes; lifeless and cold. Then progressed a fascination with how old each doll was, and the hands that it must have been past through to get into mine. What adventures, sorrows, horrors, and history those eyes have seen is impossible to even imagine.

As a young black child, were you intrigued or ever offended by the portrayal of black face in these gollywogs?

I’m a visual person by nature. At a young age the mere shapes and simplicity of the image was what first got my liking. As I now grow older I still keep the aesthetic as my main drawing point, trying not to delve into its racial backgrounds. I simply liked the look- enough to ignore its controversial past.

Why did you choose Uprising as the title for this series? Do you incorporate any elements of rebellion/revolt in the message of this series?

The focus of Uprising is for me to start the fire again in another gallery setting after my last solo show (So Called Artist at the Los Angeles Fifty24 gallery space in conjunction with Upper Playground).

Of course, coming from a graffiti background, the main concept with any child running in the streets is to revolt. What I am trying to convey is the way a young child sees revolting. It would appear as if you had giant tyrant-like monsters with boar hair and talon like teeth trying to play jump rope with your intestines. With that picture painted in my head, I tried to illustrate a show and this is what came out.

You’ve stated, “A lot of the pieces are using the gollywog to represent myself going through fantasy-like situations.” To what fantasy-like situations are you referring? Recent or older situations from childhood?

My art has always been my main form of therapy. From situations where you’re up for days, the skies look as if they are burning and in those fires you see all of your demons laughing at you. Lust, greed, envy… all those ‘mah fuckas’ just taunting you to situations of entering a rabbit hole from waaaay too many mushrooms and you’re stuck with those same demons and you can’t escape because you put yourself there. Where I saw people and situations in such a state of mind are exactly how they look in my work.

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