As enamored of the arts as I was when I was a teenager, like most of same, I sought the things I was interested in outside the home. It’s too bad, because I missed out on what should have been more of a source of inspiration to me. Ken O’Brien, my dad.
My Father’s Pictures on 3819 2008
The Venice Painters on 378 2008
When I was twelve or thirteen, a young couple moved in across the street. They were Max Hendler and Arlene Goldberg, and they were part of a loose group of painters who lived and worked in Venice during the sixties.
Claire Horner on 363 2008
I met a lot of peculiar and interesting people at Venice West Café — none more interesting (or more peculiar) than poet Claire Horner. He read at VWC alongside people like Bukowski and Taylor Meade, and peddled mimeographed “books” of his poetry with names like “Please don’t step on the Bacon”.
Graffiti Induces Colorblindness on 3527 2008
I should probably publish this discovery in Nature or some other peer reviewed journal. But what a hassle, so here goes: Graffiti is visible only in black or white. Yes, people often appear to see red when their homes and workplaces are bombed, but that’s only further proof that despite what you think you see, there is no gray area where graffiti’s concerned, let alone color.
The Venice West Cafe on 3527 2008
In 1965, when I was fifteen, I started hanging around the Venice West Cafe, a dank little hole in the wall with wooden benches and tables. Of course they served espresso. And the place was always full of (to me at that age) coolly romantic hipsters, complete with shades, turtlenecks — yeah, even berets.
The Fastest Walls in the West on 3526 2008
Wake up and smell the Krylon! Actually, I don’t recommend it, though I often do it. Not because I’m into huffing paint, mind you, but because I often roll directly out of the wrapper and up the local bike path past the public graffiti walls at the Venice Beach “Pits.”
Post Modern Business on 3525 2008
The post modern aspects of this small Abbot Kinney office appear to be an after-the-fact addition, “appear” being the operative word here.
1310 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Turf and Clapboard on 3525 2008
This two-story clapboard house is distinguished by its Astroturf fence.
Graffiti Wall: Ich Bin Ein Venician on 3525 2008
The Venice Pits, now known as the Venice Art Walls, are a point of contention in my neighborhood. They seemed like an apt metaphor for the tension between graff writers and taggers, and a general public that doesn’t much care that there can be a difference between the two.
Ted Hawkins on 3525 2008
Ted Hawkins had one of the richest, purest, most powerful voices I’ve ever heard. He was a fixture on the boardwalk scene and typified the best of Venice art and music. He performed for the high and mighty, and the lowly and poor. He broke hearts and illuminated minds.