Today I have a little interview to share that I did with Venice based artist Patrick Marston. Justin and I attended the opening of one of his most recent works, which is a giant mural depicting Venice’s diverse history, painted on the hallway of Google’s Venice location. Read on to see what inspired Patrick, how the collaboration came about, and some of his favorite local spots…
1. How did you get started as an artist?
Creating art has always been my favorite thing as far as I can remember. I loved to draw, paint and make whole worlds out of toilet paper tubes, cardboard and glue. My parents were wise enough to recogonize that I had a strong curiousty for art and made sure that I got into workshops, camps and art classes to encourage my talent. I wasn’t good at a lot of things, but I shined when I was making art.
2. How did the Google collaboration come about?
I received an email from Google, a call for local artists in the community, to see if I was interested in submitting an idea for a mural project. Apparently, Google had been looking at submissions for almost two years prior, but Google wanted to have something up for the Venice Family Clincics ArtWalk that was just around the corner. I worked for two days straight creating a design. Honestly – I knew there would be many incredible submissions. I wasn’t sure that mine would be chosen, but took the project on as a personal discipline and challenge. I have adopted the motto, “Sacrifice or regret.” One never knows unless they try.
3. What was your inspiration behind the Google mural?
I wanted to really capture the flavor of Venice. I was inspired by its history, the canals, the amusment park piers, Oceanfront Walk, the music, the ecletic persoalities of the locals, and its trademark fun of surfing, beaching, biking, boarding. and basketball. I investigated as much as I could and it all inevitably led me back to the source – the individual who concieved “Venice of America,” and that was Abbot Kinney. The mural is titled “Abbot’s Dream.” Everything we have created starts with an idea or a dream, and this was Abbot’s. I thought it was interesting to incorporate the inventions of his time. Making dreams become reality was a very plausible concept. During Abbot’s life, the industrial age was giving birth to the lightbulb, the radio, the sewing machine, airplanes, bicycles…even the basketball was invented in 1891! This was a time of incredible optimism, and I thought that was important to create a context for the dream of recreating a Venice in Southern California. The other elements are all symbols and icons of Venice Beach from beginning to present – from gondolas and bridges to bikes on the bike path, from toy trains to tattoos, fishing and whale-watching to grafitti and rollerskating. In the end, I nick-named the mural an 1800s Funkedelic Roller-Boogie.
4. I know you live in Venice – what are some of your favorite neighborhood spots (restaurants, shops, etc)?
HaH! There are so MANY great places here in Venice (not all of which one can afford to enjoy regularly on an artist’s budget). The Venic Ale House. is my favorite place to hang with friends on a sunny weekend day. I love Casablanca for the margaritas and music. I am a huge Arbor fan (best boards EVER!). And, I just discovered Kippy’s! YUM!
5. What’s next for you?
I have just completed a second mural in Culver City with my signature fish, and I am currently in talks for a large indoor mural in an Oceanfront Walk home here in Venice. My husband Michael and I just opened up our gallery this month. The address is 3101 Washington Boulevard in Venice. We are beside-ourselves-thrilled! The long history of work, perserverence, prolificacy and patronage is paying off. It’s a great place to be as we continue to make our own dreams into reality.