Posted by John Gialuco
Lou-pop had been drawing cartoon characters for a few years and once in a while he would mention Bettie Page, a model and dancer during the 40’s and 50’s. When Lou showed me his latest scantily dressed Betty Boop drawings, he would have this sheepishly looking smile on his craggy face. I could see that he wanted approval for this risque moment. Some weeks later I brought him a group of nude photos I printed from Betty Page and Marlyn Monroe magazine spreads. He quickly stuck them under his 1940s something coffee table in his living room. Lou-pop had a lot of beautiful living room furniture form those earlier years.
I had peaked his desire to enter the soft porn artistic realm and he became more free spirited with his drawings. He eventually migrated to hard core porn in the months that followed. Louie’s favorite subject was Betty Boop, who for her time, was a sexually titillating cartoon character. Betty made her first appearance on August 9, 1930 in the cartoon, Dizzy Dishes.
One day I received a complete nude drawing of Marilyn Monroe in the mail from Lou, later to be followed by other nudes and a Betty Boop drawing in a sexual situation. Lou-pop was hitting home runs with his money shots. When my wife and I visited him, he would respectfully wait until Amy left the room, and then he would quickly pull out his latest naughty drawings and wait for my response, in which I was always encouraging him to do more of. He had a lot of fun with these heroines of his youth and was finally able to express his sexual love and desires for this much repressed era.
Our child within always needs acknowledgment throughout our lives. In time we would get a holiday card of Betty Boop or some other voluptuous blond in various tantric like positions from Louie. They always had a fun context and I found them to be very innocent as lovemaking usually is. Lou and Uncle Gus are examples of how we can age gracefully in our modern time. They used their expression of sexual desire as a way of adornment and compliments to women’s bodies. In our society’s schizoid integration of sex and morality, it seems that we must wait until our senior years to reveal our natural desire of affection for each other.
He started drawing around the age of 85, first interpreting TV Guide images, cartoons, ads and later progressing to the Smithsonian and other more refined magazines. Lou-pop had no art training during his life. Only the desire to express life as best as he could. I would call him an Outside artist. Louis Dominic Colagreco died on September 22, 2009 at the age of 93. RIP