April 20, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Statue of Homeless Man Confronts Passersby

“In The Image” by Ed Massey on display at former Savings and Loans building

By Sam Catanzaro

A seven-foot-tall sculpture of a homeless man at the former Savings and Loans building in Santa Monica asks the public to “contemplate their views and elevate their discourse on the issue,” of homelessness says the artist, who has a history of generating buzz in Santa Monica through art.

The statue, titled “In The Image”, sculpted by Ed Massey, is of a bearded homeless man wearing baggy clothes with a red blanket draped on his shoulders, depicting a man the artist came across 20 years ago.

“Good people — progressive to conservative, secular to religious — are confronted by the issue everyday…Yet, few know the stories of the homeless with whom we come in contact. What don’t we know of those we pass without a glance? What could be their potential contributions? What does the sculpture evoke or say about us?” Reads a part of the description. “The ‘In the Image’ work was always intended for the public realm, so viewers and passersby could contemplate their views and elevate their discourse on the issue — one that has now come to affect us all where we work and live.”

“In The Image” by Ed Massey on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and 26th Street in Santa Monica. Photo: Sam Catanzaro.

For 50 years, the property, located at Wilshire Boulevard and 26th Street, was home to the historic Millard Sheets “Pleasures Along the Beach” glass mosaic. Earlier this year, however, the mosaic was moved to the Hilbert Museum of California Art at Chapman University in the City of Orange, despite its landmark designation.

“The loss is the result of the City’s settlement of a lawsuit brought against it by the property owner, reversing the landmark designation in 2013 as well as the Santa Monica Conservancy’s appeal to City Council, which once again confirmed the designation in 2017,” said the Santa Monica Conservancy in June.

In an online thread, Twitter account Santa Monica Problems (@SantaMonicaProb) took aim at city officials for allowing the statue to be erected.

“Only in [Santa Monica] would a statue of a family be replaced [with a] statue of a homeless man. Why not honor a resident, rather than glorify homelessness?” reads the Tweet. “[Santa Monica’s] homeless situation is nothing to be proud of.”

Santa Monica City Councilmember Ted Winterer, however, wrote in a reply to the tweet that the City has no authority over the statue’s subject matter citing the owner’s First Amendment rights.

“You realize it’s private property right? The owner made the decision to remove the mural and previous sculpture and replace it with the new one, not the city. Can’t stop the owner from exercising her/his First Amendment rights,” Winterer wrote.

The installation will be on display for six weeks.

A Los Angeles Times clipping of a 1994 article on Ed Massey’s “Morality/Mortality” installation in Santa Monica. Photo: LA Times via Ed Massey (edmasey.com).

This is not the first time artist Ed Massey has generated buzz in Santa Monica. In 1994, as part of a five-city exhibition, Massey along with feminist activist Peg Yorkin installed life-size painted-polyurethane foam figures depicting the grisly aftermath of a sexual assault titled “Morality/Mortality” in a storefront window at the Wilshire Medical Building at Wilshire Boulevard on Wilshire Boulevard and 15th Street, which had recently opened.

“It would have been a lot easier to show the piece in a third-floor gallery in Manhattan,” Massey told the LA Times at the time. “But this has to be in a public area. The work is intended to attract attention and discussion. If it doesn’t do that, I’ve failed.”

Related Posts

Edify TV: Biking Increasing in Los Angeles

April 19, 2021

April 19, 2021

Once considered among the worst places for cyclists, data shows that biking has increased substantially in Los Angeles. Learn more...

First Ever Venice Museum Currently Fundraising: YO! Venice Show – April, 19, 2021

April 19, 2021

April 19, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * First Ever Venice Museum Currently Fundraising * Airbnb Plans To Stop...

LAPD Seek Information on Fatal Venice Hit and Run

April 19, 2021

April 19, 2021

Police are seeking info regarding a hit and run that killed a 60-year-old Venice man earlier this year.  According to...

Edify TV: $2 Billion Beverly Hills Development Proposed Near Westside

April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021

A developer wants to build a $2 billion condo and retail development flanking the Beverly Hilton hotel. Learn more in...

Culver City Video Game HQ Underway

April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021

Take a look at the Culver City headquarters for a $3.3 billion gaming company. Video made possible by Santa Monica...

14 Home Complex Starting at $3 Million Wraps up Near Facebook Offices

April 16, 2021

April 16, 2021

 Work wraps up at Encore development  By Chad Winthrop  Work is nearly done on 14 multi-story homes starting at $3.1...

Edify TV: Venice Handball Courts Encampment Cleared

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

Sanitation crews Thursday cleared a homeless encampment at the Venice Beach handball courts. Learn more in this video made possible...

Del Rey Dry Cleaner Goes up in Flames

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

LAFD put out first-floor fire this week By Chad Winthrop Over 90 firefighters put out a fire that broke at...

Edify TV: LAFD Announces Likely Cause of Ballona Wetlands Fire

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

The LAFD has revealed the cause of a March fire that destroyed five acres of the Ballona Wetlands. Learn more...

Pizza Pop-up Coming to Venice Next Week

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

Lupa Cotta coming to Venice’s Chez Tex next Friday By Kerry Slater A “nomadic pizza business” is popping up in...

Restaurant Spotlight: Piccolo Bringing Fine Italian Dining to Santa Monica and Venice

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

Latest restaurant from Chef Antonio Mure with two locations on Westside  By Timothy Michael An esteemed chef with deep ties...

Food Review: Griddle Cake Perfection Arrives on the Westside

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

Breakfast by Salt’s Cure lands on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica By Kerry Slater A new Westside breakfast spot serves...

Earth Day Beach Cleanup at Santa Monica Beach

April 15, 2021

April 15, 2021

Santa Monica Travel & Tourism organizing April 22 event  On Earth Day next week join a “micro-cleanup” to help beautify...

Westside Cafe Helping Save Monarch Butterflies

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

This Westside cafe is doing its part to keep its namesake insect, the monarch butterfly, safe. Learn more in this...

Virtual Venice Art Crawl This Week

April 13, 2021

April 13, 2021

Singers, poets, painters, photographers, performance artists and gallery owners are all scheduled to participate in the virtual Venice Art Crawl...