2019. At approximately 1,000 square feet, this awesome wall by Ivo Vergara was the largest project I’ve had the opportunity to work on, to date. It features black and white portraits of local residents, the exact people that VCHC exists to serve. These are people who the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of Venice has too often marginalized, and pushed out of areas where their families resided for decades. By literally elevating their faces, and implicitly their stories, Ivo’s design makes a push to integrate the rich traditions of this eclectic gathering place with it’s sunny beach-town destination status.
Situated at the chaotic intersection of Lincoln and Rose in Venice, we faced fascinating challenges working on this piece. Attacks from unhoused neighbors working through mental health challenges. peak midday sun who’s glare made out guide lines nearly invisible, and navigating moving our lift in a way that served both what we needed, and the traffic accessibility needs of other businesses in the building…. it was an adventure. I worked as the primary artist’s assistant on this project, and doing so learned to operate two different kinds of mechanical lifts, large-batch color mixing to another artist’s standards, and a few of Ivo’s great techniques for image transfer and painting. Ivo insisted that I not rely on masking tape techniques, and to learn to leave quality line work by hand. That push has served me well in the following years. I love working on my own walls, but having a chance to learn and work with a long-time master in the business is a special chance, indeed.