July 7, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Homeless Statue in Santa Monica Intended to Confront Public

“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

Three teens arrested on suspicion of looting and arson: Santa Monica Beat – July, 6, 2020

July 6, 2020

July 6, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Three teens arrested on suspicion of looting and arson. * Covid-19...

Santa Monica Sees Unhealthy Air Quality After Fireworks

July 5, 2020

July 5, 2020

Fireworks continue in LA County despite ban By Staff Writer Air quality throughout most of Los Angeles County, including Santa...

Man Dies After Jumping off Santa Monica Pedestrian Bridge

July 4, 2020

July 4, 2020

By Sam Catanzaro A man died in Santa Monica Saturday morning after jumping onto the freeway from a pedestrian bridge....

Santa Monica Beaches–Aside From Pier–Score High Water Quality Marks

July 3, 2020

July 3, 2020

Heal the Bay releases annual water quality report By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica beaches–with the exception of Santa Monica Pier–scored...

Santa Monica Sets Fines for Not Wearing Mask

July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

Order also authorizes businesses to refuse service for those not wearing masks By Sam Catanzaro The City of Santa Monica...

Newsom Orders LA County Dining Rooms Close

July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

Indoor museums, cardrooms and more also ordered to close By Sam Catanzaro Earlier this week Los Angeles County’s public health...

Local high school student wins national chess tournament: Santa Monica Beat – July, 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Local high school student wins national chess tournament. * Man charged...

Hostel on Historic Property Eyeing Expansion

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

Hostel located on same property as 19th-century Rapp Saloon eyeing five-story expansion By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica hostel located...

Appeals Court Issues Tentative Ruling in Voting Rights Case

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District issues tentative ruling in Pico Neighborhood Association, et al. v. City of Santa Monica By Sam Catanzaro...

Video: West Los Angeles VA Tent Row

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

What is the deal with the row of tents outside the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus? Learn more in...

$10k Reward for Info on Santa Monica Police Car Arsonist

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

FBI and Santa Monica police looking for suspect who was involved in May 31 police car fire By Staff Writer...

LA County Orders Closures of Beaches During 4th of July Weekend

June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

Fireworks displays also banned in county By Sam Catanzaro After reporting the highest single one-day COVID-19 case count, Los Angeles...

County Reports Highest Single-Day COVID-19 Tally

June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

One in every 140 people in the county has the virus and is infectious, say LA County health officials By...

City Council re-allocates police funds: Santa Monica Beat – June, 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * City Council re-allocates police funds. * Will bars and restaurants remain...