“LA VECINDAD”: A series of photo-realist paintings by Art Carrillo

Art Carrillo loves his community. He knows the negative stigma attached to Latino communities — his community. As an artist, Art wants to right that wrong. As a photo realist, Art Carrillo painstakingly reproduces every detail of the captured photo in a sort of spiritual journey, every stroke a testament to his love for his community. Using acrylics as his choice of medium, Art captures everyday scenes of Chicano life with a religious zeal usually found in contemporary street religion. Each piece, a prayer to the beauty of his community. We’re excited to showcase his work here at the Avenue 50 Studio. Exhibit runs July 13th – August 4th, 2013.

Avenue 50 Studio VIDEO about Art Carrillo and “La Vecindad”: VIDEO

Artist Statement

Truth and honesty are two qualities that are very important to me, and I try to convey this in my work through realism. The subjects I choose: the gangs, tattooed mother and child, taco vendors, kids at church, are all subjects that I’m familiar with, and that are representative of Central American communities.

Some of the subjects I choose to paint are problems that plague these communities. These problems not something new, but continue to affect our “vecindarios”. Through my work, I would like to create dialogue that brings truth and understanding to subjects such as the gang problem — not only to the viewer or concerned citizens that take issue with this, but to the gang members as well. To find a solution, I believe there needs to be mutual understanding.

I would also like to emphasize the beauty and truth and pay homage to the Central American communities that have given me so many beautiful and wonderful ideas to bring to canvas. It is my “vecindario” and “gente” who have made me who I am today, for better or worse. I think for better.


Art Carrillo was born December 9, 1975 in East Los Angeles. His parents are from Mexico. He grew up in the City of Commerce and went to school in Bell Gardens and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Hollywood in 2011. His medium of choice is acrylic paints.

At the same time that Art decided to pursue his graphic design education in 2006, he also decided to try and pick up where he had left off creatively in high school. Putting to use what he began to learn at the advice of his instructors, he began to paint with focus. In 2008 he was employed as the lead scenic backdrop artist for a small company in Culver City where he created over 20 large 12×20 ft. scenic backdrops. He’s been working as a freelance artist on and off since 2009. In 2010 he was hired for the special task of restoring damaged artwork that drapes the walls of the 7th floor chapel in the Dream Center, Los Angeles, formerly the Queen of Angels Hospital.

Art has been exhibiting since 2007. He started like many struggling artists trying to get their feet wet exhibiting in one-day pop up galleries, school exhibits, and weekend festivals. His work continues to capture the attention of galleries and collectors alike. In 2012, Art was invited to be part of a three-month group exhibition commissioned by the Los Angeles Arts Commission held at the USC Medical Village Violence Intervention and Prevention Clinic. He has been religiously painting for the past 18 months getting ready for his first solo show at Avenue 50 Studio.

Art is inspired by artists George Bellows, Francisco Goya, and Norman Rockwell, mostly for their socio-political work. He creates work that addresses issues such as criminal life, bad parenting, strong family relationships, faith, and the beauty in life — Issues that have been part of his life long learning experience and that affect not only him and people he knows, but people everywhere.