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Artist Talk: Ranflas y Inspiración: Re-imagining the Lowrider

  • Petersen Automotive Museum 6060 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles, CA, 90036 United States (map)
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Sunday May 20th | 12 to 2 pm | William E Connor Penthouse

This artist panel will bring together four diverse and dynamic artists featured in the current exhibition The High Art of Riding Low: Ranflas, Corazón e Inspiración.  The lowrider car has become an artistic medium and an art object. These artists have re-worked and re-imagined the lowrider car’s form and aesthetics. They also reflect the lowrider through a multitude of lenses, and their work reveals the medium as “liminal space”, a “be-twixt and between” wherein values and meanings are constantly in flux. 


Moderator/Discussant:

Selene Preciado, Independent Curator/Program Assistant, The Getty Foundation

Artists: Justin Favela, Estevan Oriol, Marina Perez-Wong, and Leanne “El Rod” Rodriguez


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Artist Bios:

Estevan Oriol is an internationally celebrated professional photographer, director and urban lifestyle entrepreneur. Beginning his career as a hip-hop club bouncer turned tour manager for popular Los Angeles-based rap groups Cypress Hill and House of Pain, Estevan’s passion for photography developed while traveling the world. His work has been showcased in select galleries and institutions—such as Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives, Mesa Contemporary Art Center, Petersen Automotive Museum, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’ Art in the Streets exhibit—concluding with a best-selling book of his work: LA Woman, capturing the dangerous and alluring beauty of women shot in his uniquely provocative and raw style. His photography has been featured in Complex, FHM, Juxtapoz, GQ, Vibe, Rolling Stone and other publications, with appearances on popular television shows such as, HBO’s Entourage and Last Call With Carson Daly.

Justin Favela is a Las Vegas native working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, and performance. His work draws from art history, popular culture and his Guatemalan/Mexican heritage. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Arts from UNLV and has participated in exhibitions across the United States. Las Vegas venues include the Contemporary Arts Center, Trifecta Gallery and The Clark County Government Center. Favela has curated many shows throughout southern Nevada, at spaces such as UNLV’s Marjorie Barrick Museum to El Porvenir Mini-Market in North Las Vegas. Recent exhibitions of note include the group exhibition Tilting the Basin: Contemporary Art of Nevada at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno;  Con Cariño: Artists Inspired by Lowriders, at the New Mexico Museum of Art and in 2017, he was in the Denver Art Museum's exhibition, Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place, featuring site-specific installations by 13 Latino artists that express experiences of contemporary life in the American West. When not in the studio, Favela is probably watching tv or co-hosting his podcast Latinos Who Lunch.

Marina Perez-Wong a.k.a. Micho P. Wong has recently moved back to the Bay Area from Brooklyn, New York. Born and raised in San Francisco's Mission District, she was influenced at a young age by the muralists, craft makers, musicians, dancers, writers, poets, photographers and social activist that lived in her neighborhood. After completing her Bachelors of Arts degree at the California College of Art & Crafts, she began her career as a public artist and art educator with a strong emphasis on street art and community. In 2013 Marina co founded Twin Walls Mural Company along with her long time colleague and best friend, Elaine Chu. She is currently working as a visual arts instructor at the Oakland School for the Arts as well as painting murals throughout the Bay Area and working in studio. 

Leanne “El Rod” Rodriguez  is a contemporary mixed media artist aiming for total art world glitter domination and beyond. She spent a majority of her simple Southern California youth in solidarity and pursuing her “arts and craps” [as her older brother called them]. It was obvious to her family that her artistic interests would dominate her future. In her early 20’s, she left the states on a 2 year sabbatical to Columbia where she adopted the moniker “Elrod” and befriended a female drug lord and bordello Madame named Cha-Cha Blanco who taught her the loyal and merciless ways of the cartel underworld. Elrod returned to the states and proceeded to recruit her own underground fellowship of chubby female Hispanic art gangsters, known as 3XL or “Tres Xrazy Locas” who perform her miscellaneous illegal bidding. Currently, with a studio on the highest peak overlooking the entire Bay Area, Elrod spends her time making art and mischief and continuously expanding her arsenal of skills. She not only does specialFX makeup, glitter resin casting, silk-screening and  bedazzling but also instructs her highly popular underground glitter workshop “Glitter 101.”