Carlos Cartagena (1960)
Born and raised in Guatemala City, Carlos realised early on in his life that art was something he wanted to pursue as his career. Unfortunately for him at the time, he also realised he was in completely the wrong place to do this, instead, at the age of 21 and speaking little or no English, he decided to move to the US to try and seek his fortune.
On arrival in California, he worked many a menial position, fast food cook and delivery boy to name but two. Most importantly though, he spent his spare time refining and practising his art techniques, using the artworks of others to help him as he consistently taught himself. Pinup at this time was nowhere on the horizon for him.
Despite selling a respectable number of artworks through various galleries, he finally found the pinup style of artwork was something he could do well after a friend asked him to try it for some decals in the mid 90's.
Pinup proved to be an area where Carlos excelled, with his works gaining almost instant recognition, especially amongst the sports enthusiasts (for whom the semi naked form on any form of sports equipment is almost a prerequisite).
The last half decade has seen him rise from being virtually unknown to one of the top artists in the pinup genre. Comparing his art to the likes of Sorayama is almost always going to happen, especially when the almost photo realistic artworks are examined in detail, both Sorayama and Cartagena, despite being worlds apart in birthplace, appear to share a similar eye when it comes to the amazing artworks they produce.