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My Story

I’ve always been interested in the “mechanical arts” including architecture, automotive and the neon art of vintage signage. Old neon signs are art, pure and simple. Unfortunately, they are being destroyed at an alarming rate. There are places that house, restore, display, and honor these magnificent signs. The Neon Museum in Las Vegas, NV, American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, OH, and proudly, MONA, the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale, CA where my fellow Sign Geeks and I were part of the Grand Opening Celebration, where we displayed over a hundred photos of vintage neon signs.

I started taking pictures when I was a teenager. I spent summers in South Beach admiring all the neon on the art deco buildings, then on and off until I moved to Albuquerque in 2012. Social media, like Instagram and Facebook, connected me to people and signs from around the world including my Sign Geeks family. Living in New Mexico, where a major section of Route 66 is, presented me with a huge photographic opportunity. I had been to Palm Springs numerous times and finally moved here in September 2018. Palm Springs has an amazing Mid-Century vibe, which is evident in the architecture and cars, add to that palm trees, snowcapped mountains, and the movie star history, and you have a magical place with amazing photo possibilities.

 

Photography IS my major passion, obsession, and fixation.

Open your eyes and see what’s around you!

​It’s kinda like stopping to smell the flowers!

 

I travel across the United States and around the world with my cameras.

Whenever something catches my eye, whether it be signs, buildings, or landscapes, I take as many photos as I can from different angles and with different lenses and light.

 

The road trips were the most fun, especially those following Route 66 from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California.

 

Capturing an era

The history and diversity of design periods around the USA is amazing.

  • Colonial architecture of the east coast,

  • Victorian homes in the mid-west,

  • Art deco buildings and design of South Florida and Oklahoma,

  • Pueblo style of the southwest,

  • Mid-century everything in the Coachella Valley,

  • Classic cars of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s,

  • And of course, the 1950’s and 1960’s neon signs all over the country

I Celebrate Color

The dazzling colors of the Caribbean are my inspirational palette for the bright hues in my photography.

Growing up I was able to appreciate the vibrant shades of tropical colors splashed on street murals, soft pastels glazed over historic buildings, brightly colored colonial-style structures, beautifully weathered patinas of period facades and the lushness of nature. 

 

About CARLV12 - Photography by Carlos Vargas

After moving to Palm Springs in 2018, a friend suggested I sell my photography so others could enjoy my art and I could help preserve the history of the mechanical arts I was so passionate about.

 

In February, 2019, CARLV12 - Photography by Carlos Vargas was born.

 

All CARLV12 photographs are personally taken and edited by me using state of the art cameras, lenses, and multiple editing software. We’ve researched and sampled a wide range of products and have chosen the world’s best fabricators/manufacturers to produce the artwork you choose.

We work with international, world-renowned companies who guarantee a perfect product.​

 

Once you have chosen your print, CARLV12 submits the digital photo to the responsible media partner, and then it's sent to you. 

 

Artwork Options - The way YOU want to see our photos.

 

Fine Art Prints:

Multiple paper options

Unmounted, Mounted or Framed

 

Giclee printed directly on acrylic glass.

Prints under acrylic glass.

Giclee printed and bonded to aluminum.

 

Artwork can be produced in multiple sizes.

Illustrated artwork can be colorized to meet your decorating needs.

​All framed, acrylic, and metal wall art is ready to hang.

 

Special orders and commissions welcome

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