741 California Ave in Venice Beach isn’t your average city corner. Here, Brooklyn art duo FAILE have installed, by hand, 16,000 custom tiles inspired by the city’s iconography. It stretches across the home of Rancho V‘s Rocco Gardner, occupying a facade roughly the size of three billboards. It’s the largest tile mural by
FAILE thus far. Gardner had observed the area’s rapid changes and wanted to pay homage to the community upon which the city was built. FAILE’s Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller looked at the designs behind everything from the Venice Fishing Pier to muscle beaches and the bikini. They created 12 distinct tiles, many bright and geometric, before mapping out how they’d all be set upon the building. The result feels much like a waves of color washing over the structure.
“Venice Beach has always been a creative community with visitors from around the world traveling to see its diversity and beauty,” Gardner explains to CH. “My intention with the mural was to celebrate all of these iconic things we love about the city and I hope it becomes a landmark reflecting the artistic community. With the area changing so fast we wanted to encourage artists to continue creating, and celebrating the city’s essence and culture.” Much of Gardner’s work with Escape Productions (including his art and philanthropic endeavors) hinge upon bringing people together. Here, he’s set aside a corner where people can stop, appreciate, gawk at or debate the merits of a piece of art by a world renowned duo.
“They’re the perfect artists to embody the expansive city,” he continues. “Their custom, handmade tiles tell a story about the merging of cultures and what is most iconic in the city.” From the Venice Beach basketball tile to the sunset tile referencing the city’s iconic logo and even a skateboard wheel nut tile, much of the city’s history has been accounted for. But, as much as the art piece honors an illustrious and visually stunning past, it’s really there to be experience today and maybe a landmark tomorrow.
Images courtesy of FAILE