Swinging with the Old Stars

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Artist Never's mural of singer Lana Del Rey on the Ellison Suites in Venice. Photos: Courtesy twitter @never1959

by Melanie Camp

With a name like Taisia Goodnight, the front desk manager at Ellison Suites could be a rockstar. She laughs at the suggestion telling Yo! Venice she took her husband’s last name and isn’t anywhere near as famous as the faces that now cover the outside walls of the hotel where she works.

Mural artist Jonas Never spent the last couple of weeks of 2017 painting Marilyn Monroe, Lana Del Rey, Jim Morrison, and actor John Hurt onto the hotel’s brown brick walls. “He was less than two weeks. He worked really fast it was amazing to see,” said Goodnight, who loves how noticeable the 100-year-old building is now the Never murals are up.

Ellison Suites front desk manager Taisia Goodnight told Yo! Venice it was amazing to see how fast Never completed each mural. Courtesy twitter @never1959

Explaining the reasoning behind choosing the four faces, Goodnight said the hotel wanted to honor people with a Venice connection. Both Jim Morrison and John hurt were rumored to have lived at Ellison Suites for a time. “We have photos of Marilyn Monroe, when she was still Norma Jean, staying here,” Goodnight told Yo! Venice, adding that throughout the hotel hang vintage Venice photographs from the 1920s, 1930s and the 60s.

At Ellison Suites is a photo of Marilyn Monroe at the hotel back in the days she was still Norma Jean. Courtesy twitter @lanadelrey

Lana Del Rey’s Venice connection is a little more tenuous. Goodnight doesn’t know if the singer-songwriter has ever stayed at Ellison. Instead, the artist scored a spot because of lyrics the in her songs. Singing of sleeping on rooftops, Del Rey nods to Morrison who crashed atop many a Venice roof in his day, “and also, you see Venice in a lot of her music videos, so we see her as being part of Venice,” said Goodnight.

For Never, painting Del Ray was something he tweeted he’s been wanting to do for awhile. “Spent the last few days doing a 40 ft #LanaDelRey overlooking Venice Beach,” he wrote online.

Artist Never tweeted painting singer Lana Del Rey was something he’d always wanted to do. Photos: Courtesy twitter @never1959

See the murals in real life next time you’re on Speedway. Ellison Suites is at 15 Paloma Ave., Venice.

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