It takes a lot to call attention to yourself at Venice Beach. Then again, sometimes all you have to do is stand around for half a century.
This year, the iconic art walls of Venice Beach — 3,120 square feet of concrete canvas that beckon to the artist like a siren song — turn 50. The walls have outlived wars, the presidents that waged them, recessions, VCRs, disco and TV’s Donny & Marie. How can a Statue of Liberty juggling chain saws or a medical-marijuana dispensary compete with that?
Built originally as a part of the Venice Pavilion, a venue for concerts and performances, the walls once stood nearly 10 feet tall. A constant target of illegal tagging over the years, the pavilion soon became known by the moniker “Venice Graffiti Pit.” It fell into disrepair and became inundated with homeless people and trash.
Support for the walls ebbed and flowed through time, depending on which way the aerosol was blowing. In the late 1990s, the stage and some walls were removed and several tons of sand were brought in and bermed up to the level of the old concrete tables, some of which are still visible today poking through the surface. The addition of the sand created an elevated knoll that effectively cut the remaining walls down to a height of 6 feet.
See full story at LAWeekly.com.