On Saturday, the LoveLoud music festival brought good vibrations and 17,000 attendees to Orem, Utah, located 45 miles south of Salt Lake City. Organized by Imagine Dragons’s Dan Reynolds, the festival promoted acceptance of LGBT people in the conservative Mormon community in which Reynolds was raised. In addition to enlisting a lineup fellow feel-good rockers like Neon Trees and Walk the Moon, and donating proceeds to nonprofits like the Trevor Project and Provo-based LGBT youth service Encircle, Reynolds devised one particularly creative way to deliver the message: during Imagine Dragons’ set, the artist Louis Carreon created original artwork to be auctioned off after the festival.
The L.A.-based Carreon, who as a teen became a career graffiti artist and nightlife denizen before struggling with addiction and going to prison for drug-related crimes, is now best known for his slaphappy, spray paint-based creations – like a 12-seat private jet he coated in Haring-esque black-and-white tags for last year’s Art Basel.
Carreon’s visually excessive style may appear to be borne out of his days in the freewheeling L.A. scene, but now, he says, he wants to use his creativity and connections for good. “I was a [so-called] socialite years ago. I grew up with a lot of… they weren’t influencers back then. But they were celebrities and actors. I may do business with people who perceived a certain way, but it’s not for my personal gain,” says Carreon, who counts Paris Hilton and Colin Farrell as collectors. “I was on the dark side for a long time so it feels good to do what I’m passionate about while raising awareness.”
And while Carreon may have been unfamiliar with the music of Imagine Dragons prior to being approached by Reynolds, he says that, as a reformed street artist, he is accustomed to thinking on his feet. “I’m just going to freestyle and sketch from whatever Imagine Dragons plays,” Carreon tells us prior to the festival. “I also write poetry so my art is all about that.”
Proceeds from the sale, says Carreon, will go towards the LoveLoud Foundation. Follow LoveLoud for more information about bidding on Carreon’s work.