’Toon Town

Photos by Craig Stecyk

ORIGINALLY FROM THE HARBOR area of Los Angeles, Mr. Cartoon (his last name is Machado, first name’s a secret) knew that he was an artist by the time he was 8. From that point on, young ’Toon excelled in various forms of “low” art including sign painting, graffiti, car customizing, and magazine illustrations before venturing into the world of tattoos where he found fame rocking his legendary “Fineline Style” tattoos, which evolved from the California prison system. These days, some of the biggest names in pop and hip-hop — artists like Eminem, Beyoncé Knowles, Justin Timberlake and Pharrell Williams — sport Cartoon’s stellar work on their skin.

For the past 10 years, Mr. Cartoon has been secretly working on his master project: a fully customized ice cream truck, complete with a mural featuring narrative images of his life and other tales about growing up in the Latin American community in Los Angeles. Along with his longtime partner, photographer Estevan Oriol, Cartoon has produced “Cultura,” a multimedia exhibition showing the truck and other stuff at the Blu-House in Venice and a companion graffiti art piece on the billboard above the Undefeated shop on La Brea Avenue. A street party on November 13 commemorates the billboard and launches Nike’s Cartoon signature sneaker. You could say L.A. is turning into a ’Toon town.

“Cultura” at the Blu-House, 523 Ocean Front Walk, Venice. Open Saturdays, noon to 3 p.m., through November 13.

Undefeated Project, at the corner of First Street and La Brea Avenue, sponsors a street party November 13, 6 to 8 p.m., featuring lowriders and a taco truck.


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