Never judge a book by its cover — unless, of course, that cover features 16,000 beautifully displayed custom tiles. At that point, it’s safe to assume that some creative minds and visionaries are behind its pages and its making.
As reported by Cool Hunting, these tiles adorn the home of musician and entrepreneur Rocco Gardner at 741 California Ave. in Venice Beach, California. The building, part of Gardner’s Rancho V, is a “hub for musicians, photographers, thought leaders, and pioneers from across the globe” that sits on a 40-acre desert estate in Pioneertown, California.
Its new exterior design, which is meant to be gawked at by the public, “highlights art and the colorful multicultural diversity of the area, promoting beauty, creativity, and celebrating all the things we all love about Venice Beach,” as the artists describe the work. Gardner, who observed the neighborhood’s rapid changes, wanted to pay homage to the community upon which the city was built.
To create a landmark that would stop people in their tracks and leave them reminiscing about all the beloved elements of Venice Beach, Gardner called upon the world-renowned, Brooklyn-based artist duo Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller — aka FAILE.
FAILE is best known for their pioneering use of wheat-pasting and stenciling in street art, a world they’ve been part of in Brooklyn since 1999. The duo’s work has been featured in galleries and institutions abroad, including in Lisbon and Shanghai, and stateside at the Brooklyn Museum and for New York City Ballet’s Art Series at Lincoln Center, not to mention their collaborative FAILE BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade with fellow street artist Bäst, and their most recent show The Size of the Fight at Library Street Collective in Detroit.
The facade of 741 California Ave. — “roughly the size of three billboards” — provided just the right amount of space for the Patricks to work on.
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. 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 experienced today and maybe a landmark tomorrow.
Gardner shared the inspiration for the mural with Cool Hunting:
“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.”
“[FAILE are] 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.”