by Barry Renfro

Story Behind the “Shoreline" Print

“Spent about week at Venice Beach sippin’ Cisco with some freaks ...
Story Behind the “Shoreline" Print

“Spent about week at Venice Beach sippin’ Cisco with some freaks from Frisco, I’m going, going, back, back to....”

If you can finish this iconic verse from one of hip hop’s most lyrically gifted MCs you already know the inspiration behind our launch collection The “Going Back To Cali Pack”. This one of a kind collection draws inspiration from the vividly, expressive lyrics dropped by the Notorious B.I.G. On his classic hit, “Going Back to Cali”. As Biggie delivers his verbal onslaught he paints vivid pictures of the pleasures he plans to indulge in when he goes back to Cali, from flossin’ at Roscoes to going back to Cali “strictly for the weather, women and the weed...” Each one of a kind, original prints in the collection represents the lyrical imagery that Biggie conveys as his source of joy and exuberance when visiting the City of Angels.

Our “Shoreline” print which was inspired by the aforementioned “Spent about a week at Venice Beach” verse led us to try and figure out what is the true allure of Venice Beach. From the stunning views that span from the Palos Verdes peninsula to Malibu to the world famous Muscle Beach open air weight training facility, Venice Beach has a uniqueness that is unparalleled. A place where gangbangers, tourist, yuppies and weirdos all coexist in peace and harmony. Where you can also witness world class level street ball (basketball) or catch a number of pro skateboarders showing out at the skatepark on any given day.

This place also takes “people watching” to a whole new level. Where else can you witness an impromptu jam session composed of hippies and misfits gathered on the beach banging on their own makeshift instruments with no particular regard for rhythm for hours at a time? Or witness unique street acts like the “one man band” dude that simultaneously plays the guitar, drums and harmonica while occasionally belting out a note or two or the most unique act that I’ve ever seen, the dancing man that has no arms or legs. You can’t make this stuff up and these are just a few of the spectacles that you can only encounter at Venice Beach. 

With so many unique qualities and attributes we chose to focus on one of the aspects of Venice that is at the core of our DNA. With our “Shoreline” print we chose to highlight the “Venice Graffiti Art Walls”. Located between the skatepark and the basketball courts the Art Walls represent the most iconic landmark for L.A. graffiti where street art, murals and graffiti are always on display. 

The historic walls were originally part of the Venice Pavilion built in 1961 and has been a home to artist, skateboarders and surfers for decades. The specific area of the Pavilion where these walls were located was called the “The Pit” or the “Graffiti Pit”. During this period the walls were often painted with graffiti style murals. Even though its was illegal to paint there at the time it was generally tolerated by the police and loved by the community. In 1999 the pavilion was torn down but a portion of the walls were left to serve as a memorial to all of the great, high quality artwork that had been painted on the walls over the previous 25 years.

In 2000 it became legal to paint on these walls. All that is required today is a permit that can be issued to anyone. Thats what makes these walls so special, whether you’re a beginner or a street art legend all are welcome to come and expressively create their artistic vision at one of the most iconic street art landmarks in the world. 

The other really cool thing is that the artwork is fluid and constantly changing on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. When you combine the convergence of different styles, techniques and colors with the constantly changing pieces it creates a one of a kind visually kinetic energy that can’t be duplicated. 

The Venice Art Walls are a creative, vibrant, constantly changing venue where street artist can constantly throw up legal pieces in a great public setting. Rooted in over 57 years of history that has helped to shape the culture of Southern California and street art around the world.

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