Louis Carreon South Africa 2016

A California born, Contemporary Artist changing the way art is perceived. Through passion, honesty, and a willingness to share his work, Louis is one of today's most influential and innovative contemporary artists. After being incarcerated in federal prison for drug related crimes, Louis found peace while illustrating his artistic road map through a cleansing of his soul and mind.


Louis Carreon is a contemporary artist with a background in street art, famous within the circuit of American art for his controversial past and provocative spirit. His work is strongly influenced by artists such as Basquiat or Julian Schnabel, who (in the author's own words) have paved the way for artists like him. It is surprising to know that he is a self-taught artist, "free and messy and not perfect", his work is a dialogue, with a colorful and personal narrative. His works are frequently exhibited in galleries around the world. One of his best known commissions was a custom mural on a 12-seater private jet for Art Basel Miami, featuring his "International Symbols of Travel."

A Los Angeles native, Louis works in Hollywood from his atelier but also creates works on location from inspirational places across the globe. Louis Carreon grew up in California, and was heavily involved in the skateboarding, surfing, and graffiti art sub-cultures. At the age of 16 he dropped out of high school to travel with the Grateful Dead as a roadie. By the time he was 17, he had done graffiti art and tagged buildings in every major city across the US. He’s current success as a contemporary artist comes after spending two years in prison on drug charges. During this time, he came to find peace and comfort in the process of creating art, according to BASIC magazine: "In jail, you cannot use paints, so there are a lot of pencils." He was drawing in sketchbooks daily,  learning different forms of calligraphy and reading about art stating, “all the time I was in prison I was drawing (...) I was drawing my road map while I saw the artists gain a little gravity at that moment."

Today Carreon’s work is frequently exhibited at world renown galleries like the Hamilton Selway Gallery in West Hollywood, being one of the few living artists that the gallery represents. His exhibitions with it have included "No Unsolicited Submissions" and "Church + State", in the latter examines our worship of Google as an authority over government or faith. Louis often travels around the world to different surfing destinations, a hobby he considers to be one of his greatest inspirations, and along the way also engages with local cultural to learn more and draws inspiration for his work in other cultures spiritual ideologies. His collections reflecting the society he immerses himself in and ultimately depicting the universal human condition that binds us all through spirituality.