Last week a few of my girlfriends and I were lucky enough to experience a piece of East LA culture at a custom car show presented by Mr Cartoon. Mark Machago, better known as Cartoon, is a Mexican american tattoo and graffiti artist based in Los Angeles that has been creating his art since the age of 8. He grew up airbrushing t-shirts and Lowrider cars until he adopted the legendary “Fineline” style tattoo art that was created in the California prison system. Cartoon is big time in this genre of Los Angeles and if you don’t know who he is and you live on the east side…well, let’s just say you aren’t being real.
Cartoon has built a huge business on his Mexican American East Los Angeles lifestyle with graffiti, custom cars, tattoos and hip hop an intregal part of the scene. His tattoos can be seen on Cypress Hill, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Eminem, Method Man, Beyonce’ and Justin Timberlake to name a few. His work has also been used by Nike, Toyota, T Mobile and Grand Theft Auto. His artwork sells for millions of dollars and he has companies lined up begging for his endorsement so they can get a piece of his demographic.
SANCTIONED was an event to promote his custom car business. The event showcased some of his best cars in a downtown LA warehouse with a real live “jumpin” contest, dancing girls on platforms, hip hop dj’s, an In N Out truck and some of the best people watching I’ve seen in awhile. One of my favorite things about Los Angeles are all of the different cultures that you can be a part of just by driving into a different neighborhood. I love witnessing people from different backgrounds because the outside perspective gives me so much inspiration for my own life.
Getting a close up view of these cars was amazing. The amount of work and art that has gone into each one of them is truly special and quite visionary and I loved being able to witness it all.
Thanks to my girl, Lindsey Shook for the invite into your world…and thanks to Moonchild for some of the photos!