My name is Courtney. I’m an artist. Mostly I can be seen creating black and white doodles, sitting on milk crates on the sidewalk of Abbot Kinney Blvd. My doodling teacher, life partner, and veteran Venice artist, Von Paul, is generally seen creating art right next to me. Von Paul has been selling his art on Abbot Kinney on and off for over 5 years now and has become somewhat of a spectacle as such.
Von Paul and I have just completed a mural on Venice and Strongs Drive. And earlier last year, we painted one together on Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. My intention in informing you of this is clarifying that Von Paul is in fact a prolific, professional, beloved artist. He’s been supporting himself entirely as an artist for the past 5 and a half years and has managed to produce and sell/gift over 4,000 drawings in this time. In 2013, Von painted a joyously powerful, colorful mandala creation with brush. People around the world complimented him and thanked him for this work. The mural was on a purple building on Wicked hair salon, a popular part of Rose Ave. (405 Rose Ave), and thus enjoyed by many eyes.
Von Paul’s mural was photographed and viewed by thousands of people. If you hashtag Von Paul’s name, #VonPaul, on instagram you can see many pictures of his work taken by fans, including this mural. It uplifted people from all parts and gave them something to meditate on in the middle of Rose Ave.
Recently, this mural was painted over by another artist.
Because Von Paul has never used a computer in his life, and composing an email would be difficult, I adduce and quote these words from Von Paul on his behalf:
“Recently a mural I created was painted over by another artist in Venice. He signed his spray-painted, stenciled atrocity “Beautifyearth.org”. When I approached the owner of the Wicked Hair Salon about my mural being painted over, WITHOUT MY NOTICE, and she told me she was the building owner and she could do whatever she wanted. I was devastated.”
Venice murals are an important part of the community, and Von Paul’s was destroyed without cause or care. The artist who painted over Von’s mural, can be identified as “Wise Two” and has a website http://www.artofwisetwo.com/. He’s done some small projects on Abbot Kinney.
I sincerely hope this message reaches you in good health and high spirits,
Dear Von Paul and Courtney,
By law artists need to be notified 90 days before their mural is painted over or otherwise changed or destroyed.
Considered the grand-daddy of the current mural movement, Kent Twitchell did sue the city of L.A. when his 3-story high Ed Ruscha (1987) mural disappeared in 2006. He got a million dollars.
More recently, Victor Henderson’s 15¢ wash and 5¢ dry mural at Brooks and Pacific, which has been a part of Venice since 1969 and was made famous when the Doors took a picture in front of it, was re-painted by Clinton Bopp at the instructions of Ralph Ziman, the owner of the building. Henderson is currently in a lawsuit against Ziman.
All artists can and should sue when their work is illegally destroyed.
– The Beachhead