OK, we’ll admit that we succumbed to our art director side when it came to the month of October for our 2013 calendar. It all came down to color. October = Fall = cinnamon and mocha and chocolate and bourbon and burnt umber (for you art students).
So, it was an easy decision, as we looked over all the amazing hot rod pinups we’d produced with all these great photographers over the years, to settle on Avonte Wright on R.J. Diaz’ ’73 Riviera by none other than Estevan Oriol.
For this shoot, we met up with EO at his secret Soul Assassins studio in downtown Los Angeles – not too far from the notorious American Apparel factory – and schemed our plan while Avonte and R.J.’s “Mother Ship” got primped for the shoot. Now, Estevan knows just about every goodie nook and cranny of the expansive L.A. basin to shoot in, unencumbered by The Man and that’s saying something: the fittingly douchey “film cops” are crawling all over that area, looking for any rogue photo/film productions that ain’t paid up on all the bullshit fees, permits and fines for the privilege of pulling the lens cap off a camera on the streets of L.A. Whatevs.
And there we were, shooting Avonte and the Ship, when we could hear the muffled sounds of a pretty massive bass tube in the trunk of something equally as big getting closer. Now, this kind of thing doesn’t phase Estevan one single blip. He’s used to attracting attention when he shoots. But, we get nervous, because we’ve been on the wrong side of those fucking film cop douchebags way too many times and we, frankly, don’t like the attention. But all that melted away when the Escalade rolled up and none other than Retna hopped out. Still don’t know how he found us down there in the middle of nowhere in the middle of everything, but it was fairly epic: watching Avonte and Retna meet for the first time and Avonte looking up at him, all, “So…you do…graffiti…?” And Retna all, “Uh…yeah…I guess I do…”
Aaannnnddd, just after Retna and his crew took off, the douche patrol on silly-ass mountain bikes showed up with walkie-talkies and clipboards. Fuck. EO just looked at us with that “Deal with it” look on his face, so we took a deep breath, put on our best “Fuck-you-but-don’t-call-the-real-cops-just-yet” face and did the usual “I-don’t-know-what-you’re-talking-about-this-is-just-a-project-for-film-school-oh-we-need-a-permit?” shuffle while the shoot never missed a beat. Douche #1 really wasn’t buying it, so we started the shot clock as Douche #2 made some call on the shoulder-mounted radio to Lord-knows-who. Douche 1 tapped his clipboard in defiance, knowing damn well we weren’t about to stop shooting anytime soon, looked at the stone thugs he really wasn’t contemplating a tangle with, gave the ‘ol kickstand a beating and rode off into the afternoon sun, followed closely by his younger douche-in-arms.
We had about 25 minutes till the cops showed up. Don’t ask how we knew this.
And in that last half hour, this image was made. You’re going to see more of Avonte, as our next issue goes to press, but you’re really gonna love every day of October, as soon as you order your copy of the 2013 AUTOCULT calendar…