Just beyond the boardwalk in the hub of Venice Beach lies one of Los Angeles’ most important art installations. The expressive and polychromatic Venice Art Walls adjacent to Venice’s popular skatepark on the sand, the art walls receive admiration and contribution by artists and individuals from all walks of life.
The walls, adjacent to Venice’s skatepark and grassy knolls were originally constructed as part of the Venice Pavilion in 1961.Where visitors and locals could enjoy themselves recreationally. Over time, graffiti decorated the walls constantly. Despite at the time being illegal, the walls were appreciated by the community and un-bothersome to law enforcement. The Venice Pavilion was torn down in 1999, while keeping intact segments of the walls. In 2000, it became legal to paint and create on the walls.
Since its early beginnings, the Venice Art Walls developed into a place where street artists could create. In fact, anyone can bring a spray can or bucket of paint and let loose.
“The walls have been a vital outlet for creatives looking to paint or hangout,” said a graffiti artist who goes by Duzer. “Depending on how nice of a day it is, you can see multiple people painting at a time from all styles and from all over the world.”
For Gamer, a local graffiti artist born on the westside of Los Angeles, the walls have been a source of inspiration since childhood.
“When I was a kid, I remember walking by and checking out the art with my dad before I had even picked up a can,” he said. “It bewildered me and in a way, mesmerized me seeing people throw up on these walls so passionately. It made me realize that graffiti wasn’t all how negative it is made out to be — that there is a creative force and drive behind it, whether where you paint is illegal or not.”
These walls are also home to the many murals that reside in the area. In December of 2021, music producer Charles Elias Ingalls, also known as Charles the First, passed away. In honor of him, artist Brittney Sundquist created a mural on one of the walls where people could pay their respects.
In the words of Duzer – “Truly a ghetto paradise.”