i love thPOW VeniceBeachBienniale whole concept of the Venice Biennial….but it’s a pretty hysterical thought….I’m just trying to figure out how it’s gonna work….between all the artists, musicians and wackos that are already on the boardwalk….

How is the general public going to distinguish which is which? Just in case you don’t know, The Venice Biennial is part of the Made in LA event presented by the prestigious Hammer Museum.

Needless to say this is why I am a bit confused as to how it’s all going to work on the often chaotic strip of land running parallel to the beach all the while attracting a diverse crowd of strange and salty types.

Hey. I live steMadeinLAposterps from the boardwalk. So I’m talkin’ from experience, I can see the boardwalk from my window. I also know many of these characters, personally as I rollerblade daily.

Now we’ve got crazy Juan, known for his wild and wacky hat creations, the snake guy, the ball guy, the guy with the dog, the guy who sings “Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Help me get drunk” all year round,…and of course all the musicians and artists, some of whom sleep exactly where they are performing and selling their wares. (no, I mean for real, they have to, so they can save their space, it’s rough out there)

Browsing through the Hammer website, I have noticed that some established artists are set to participate in the Venice Biennial event…so as only a true Venetian can say…Welcome to Venice Beach! Yes I am laughing as I write this….

However Drew Heitzler and Sam Shari, I think will fit right in showing their video at one of the many beachfront tattoo parlours. Coming from the Hammer side of the fence, theses two well known artists will be showing their animation, “Zero,” which will use “tattoo flash” to illustrate a recurring dream.

See imPOW DrewHeitzler SamSharit Zero Inkontypingpaperage, a frame from animation. Drew Heitzler and Sam Sharit. Zero (frame #348), 2012. Ink on typing paper. Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles.

Here is the Hammer’s take on the event….The Venice Beach Biennial (VBB), a weekend event that makes tongue-in-cheek reference to the “real” Venice Biennale in Italy, treats the famed Venice Beach boardwalk, Ocean Front Walk, as an outdoor exhibition venue.

Over the course of the weekend, nearly 50 fine artists will set up vending stands alongside veteran boardwalk artists, exhibiting new bodies of work, collaborating with the veterans on new projects, displaying site-specific sculptures or installations, and presenting live performances.

The Venice Beach Biennial is presented in conjunction with Made in L.A. 2012 and directed by Hammer curator Ali Subotnick.

POW SKY-640x478The famed Ocean Front Walk is a promenade along Venice Beach with a rich history and undeniably funky atmosphere—and it’s also an ideal, if unconventional, location for a large-scale interdisciplinary outdoor exhibition.

The boardwalk is officially recognized as a “Free Speech and Expression Zone” and there is a regulated system, which aims to allow performers, entertainers, and free expressionists to exhibit and sell their own original and constitutionally protected merchandise, in over 200 spaces marked along the beach side of the boardwalk. A recent city ordinance has fine-tuned the definition of “art” and nominal works that are permitted in the vending spaces, which has brought back many artists that had previously been driven out by commercial vendors.

Ok….now back to reality….The good thing about all of this, is that many local artists who have been showing their work for years on the boardwalk have managed to become a part of the event…”officially.” One such artist is Arthur Moore, who’s work the Hammer Museum has selected as the Venice Biennial Logo….(see upper right). The image entitled “Funky Pussy” is his best selling painting…(I was told the cat is holding up his index finger, but being from NYC, I assumed it was the f—you finger…what can I say?…we see what we see!).

I’mPOW SKY moonlitforest impressed with the Hammer and of course curator Ali Subotnick since they chose a longtime Venice artist’s work to be featured as the signature logo. I understand Moore also assisted in selecting other boardwalk artists. (Although the regulars that I know are not too happy…alas you cannot keep everyone smiling).

Local artist, Sky (I know her as Stacey…see images left and right) has been showing for over 12 years ago along with fellow artist, Albert Culbertson will both be participating in the event. 

Arist, Mark Farina (see image, below left) is quite active in the Venice art scene. Though he no longer shows on the Venice Boardwalk, he is looking forward to being part of the Biennial. He explains, “I was interviewed by the Hammer curators, perhaps because Im a working Venice artist with my studio still here in town.”

YePOW mxfVBofAMericaars ago, he used to set up on the boardwalk with his friend and fellow artist, David Hinnebusch. Mark says, “David diligently worked the boardwalk for years. I always thought he was a bit crazy because its a really long tough day setting up and trying to sale your work on the beach.”

The Venice Beach Biennial will take place along Ocean Front Walk between 19th Avenue and Rose Avenue for three days! As per the event press release, 50 artists will be featured. Wait till they see how many will show up this weekend…it’s gonna be a circus.

Just in case you didn’t know….OceanFront Walk is a pedestrian Boardwalk located parallel to the ocean.

Also to add more congestion to the already over-crowed boardwalk, on the exact same weekend…The LAPD West Bureau will be hosting their “Summer Carnival at the Beach” from July 13th – 15th at Pacific and Windward.  See more info under Friday events. This too is an all weekend event.

Friday, July 13, 11am-Sunset
Saturday, July 14, 11am-Sunset
Sunday, July 15, 11am-6pm

The Venice Beach Biennial is made possible by the Teiger Foundation.