Hamilton Selway in Los Angeles is opening a new solo show titled, Church + State, a series of over two dozen new mixed-medium paintings by Louis Carreon. Carreon explores the all-consuming role of Google as the first authority we turn to for answers and the unprecedented faith we place in it to aid us. A reflection rather than a critique, the work highlights how Google has actually surpassed the institutions of church and state. This new body of work marks an evolution in technique for Carreon, painting stunning oil textures over acrylic to create some of his most visceral and arresting images to date. 

“Google it.” This simple phrase impressively captures our society’s view of the search engine: it’s the ultimate resource for answering any question, the end-all authority in settling a dispute and a platform we lend unyielding faith to as the arbiter of truth and reality.

“ Everyone questions God and the relevance of God,” says Carreon. “We all put our faith in Google and no one questions the state. People have always looked to something else for answers, and with Google, we listen with almost blind faith. Just think about how you use it in your day to day life. It’s become your assistant. Your lawyer. It’s become your doctor. You can self-diagnose just by typing in symptoms in a search engine. ”

In over thirty oil and mixed medium paintings, Carreon will explore these themes with his take on classic religious paintings, figurative works and a series of portraits of today’s social media-skewed youth, all with Google’s branding interwoven through the pieces. “There’s so much discussion about the rise of influencers on Instagram,” continues Carreon. “But people don’t realize that Google is actually the world’s biggest influencer.”

Text and photos provided by Hamilton Selway