THE POP FIX Pick: Louis Carreon
Every Friday, THEPOPFIXhand scoops the hottest dudes and flyest chicks of the moment. From far and wide, high and low, THEPOPFIX finds celebutants, musicians, actors, philanthropists, to normal Angelenos in the region who you as readers need to know to be “in-the-know!” So check us out every Friday, and see who’s poppin! Who knows, maybe even you or someone you know may land on our pages! Know someone who should be included in THEPOPFIX Pick? Email us at info@THEPOPFIX.com.
Los Angeles-based artist du jour and former prison inmate Louis Carreon is Tinsel Town’s go-to graffiti artist, mingling with Hollywood socialites at art gallery openings and schmoozing with rock stars at hot spots throughout L.A. – all while sober. Already popular with the young Hollywood crowd – Paris Hilton and Adrian Grenier are fans – Carreon is still in the precarious position of being simultaneously not-quite-mainstream and almost too “industry” for the art world.
One thing’s for sure, however. Carreon’s universal message of redemption and identity in his notoriously anti-Hollywood works isn’t just ironic, it’s the reason why Carreon is this week’s THE POP FIX Pick of the Week. For his honesty, artistic creativity and entrepreneurial talents, THE POP FIX predicts this renegade-turned-refined art aficionado’s success.
How many hats can one head hold? In the case of Louis Carreon, it all depends on how you work your angles and how you play your cards. The graffiti artist, who spent 10 years as a spray-and-sprint illegal tagger on the streets of L.A., is now an entrepreneur with a vision. In addition to his silkscreen creations, Carreon raps (stage name: Pettytom), designs (he’s the brainchild behind fashion line Klozhorse and his self-titled label), and, according to his Hollywood pals (among them Kevin Connolly and Dave Navarro), throws one hell of a party (one of the latest being an exclusive New Year’s bash at Hyde).
Life hasn’t always been so peachy keen for Carreon, however. The Orange County native grew up as a skateboarder and surfer, more in-tune with the gritty underground hip-hop world than the glitzy Hollywood social scene. His initial jaunt into the fashion realm led to years of drug abuse, models and alcohol, no small blip in his professional or personal life. With this downward spiral, according to Carreon, came his disillusionment and fascination with all things Hollywood – the people, the parties, the overabundance of contradictions and corruption.
His arrest (the artist dabbled one too many times in drugs), gave him the wake-up call he needed, and it has since caused Carreon to redirect his life for the better.
Carreon now uses his pop-art creations as social commentary on the struggles of everyday life in Los Angeles by really, in his own words, “embracing my old life, painting hardships of my past to engage in a better future.”
His pieces, many of which feature his trademark skulls and cartoonish animals (often a bear or cat) holding a single message-etched heart (“Glamour,” one reads, “F[r]IENDS,” another one says) are bright and almost kitsch, but there’s no denying the underlying dark messages they’re meant to hold.
“I’m a graffiti artist [influenced by] my fight with drugs and hanging out with a lot of stars. I paint dirty fashion art, reality art,” he once said.
And it’s true. Push aside the smog, and in Louis Carreon’s eyes, Los Angeles just bursts with color, though not necessarily of the visual kind. Trying to capture the chaos of the City of Angels in one bright visage after another has become his passion and his challenge.
Carreon’s next project? Streetside billboards in Iraq for his “All We Need is Love” campaign, which he hopes will spread love through urban art and encourage a quicker resolution to the problems in the Middle East.
And with the kind of star power this once-obscure artist has behind him, there’s no doubt that this new international act won’t be the last cap on a stack of ever-growing hats. It’s only the beginning.
Learn more at www.louiscarreon.com.