…Where art meets crime, talented street artists have found recognition on the walls among gang members, drug dealers and the homeless as well as skateboard legends, rock stars, champion bodybuilders and a slew of famous actors. Their art is the backdrop that makes Venice Beach recognizable from every other beach in the world. The walls stand as a continually repurposed welcome sign to creative types of all genres that make up the eclectic community by the sea.
“In some places the paint is six inches thick,” describes Venetian artist Tom Christiansen of the Venice Graffiti Walls. After seeing one of his peers carve through layers of car registration tags to create an art piece, Christiansen remembered a piece of the Graffiti Wall he had picked up from the sand one day and taken back to his studio. He began to carve into the layers of paint and history and became fascinated with the found medium. “It’s almost like an addiction,” says Christiansen. “Sometimes I carve into a color I like and have to decide if I should stop there or take a gamble that I’ll carve into something even better below.”
images via Tom Christiansen