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It?s easier to be an astronaut than to be a successful artist. It?s even rarer when he or she is lauded in the worlds of fashion, home furnishing and pop music. That?s the buzz on Los Angeles?s hottest painter, Wes Lang.

Lang is a 32-year-old who grew up doodling on notebooks and drawing Deadhead skulls on New Jersey school friends? jackets. Today he?s pretty much doing the same thing, except now he?s painting skulls on his gallerist?s Montauk home and showing his text-scrawled, babe-heavy work internationally. He caused a stir this fall when his image of a skull draped in a Confederate flag became Kanye West?s concert T-shirt. (Nobody protested his recent Rolex designs or Norwegian loomed blankets, however.)

Now living in Hollywood, Lang?s got a great rags-to-riches story: Two years ago, the then-struggling artist left New York and checked into the Chateau Marmont for a month, finally hosting an attention-getting show of his sketches on hotel stationery. You can see the work--and read juicy Chateau meanderings from James Frey--in Lang?s just-released, self-titled monograph for sale at hipster boutique Alchemy Works.

Think of Lang as Jean-Michel Basquiat--without the bummer ending.

Alchemy Works, 826 E. Third St.;

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