October 24, 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

City Council Endorsements: Santa Monica Needs a Change

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Santa Monica City Council endorsements from the Santa Monica Mirror The following are two endorsement articles from Santa Monica Mirror...

Crime in Santa Monica Is Declining: Santa Monica Beat – October, 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Crime in Santa Monica Is Declining * 335 Homeless Residents Housed...

Forma Expanding to Main Street: Westside Food Scene

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Westside Food Scene October 22, 2020 By Kerry Slater Forma Expanding to Main Street Popular Santa Monica Italian restaurant Forma...

California Supreme Court to Hear Santa Monica Voting Rights Case

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Court to rule on future of at-large elections in Santa Monica By Sam Catanzaro The California Supreme Court will determine...

LA County Says Younger Adults and Teenagers Are Driving COVID-19 Cases

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

68 percent of new cases among people between ages of 12 and 50 By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health...

Santa Monica Has Issued Over 40 Face Covering Citations

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

City expanding COVID-19 compliance efforts with the addition of “Health Ambassadors”  By Sam Catanzaro The City of Santa Monica says...

Grand Jury Indicts Former Angel Employee in Tyler Skaggs’ Fatal Overdose

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Fort Wayne grand jury indicts Eric Prescott Kay on drug distribution and drug conspiracy charges By Sam Catanzaro A federal...

YogaWorks Studios Closing Amid Pandemic: Santa Monica Beat – October, 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * YogaWorks Studios Closing Amid Pandemic * Carjacking Suspects in Custody All...

Edify TV: More Bike Lanes for Westside

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

A Westside city is adding more miles of protected bike lanes. Learn more in this video made possible by Santa...

Outgoing Santa Monica Police Chief Set to Receive Nearly $100K of Severance Pay

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Santa Monica City Council approves retirement agreement for outgoing chief Cynthia Renaud By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica’s outgoing police chief...

Intravenous Vitamin Therapy: A Natural, Effective Solution for the Flu

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

By Dr. Mahboubeh Hashemi, ND and Dr. Matthew Cavaiola, ND  As fall and winter are fast approaching, many people, and...

Edify TV: Deal to House Homeless People Near Freeways

October 18, 2020

October 18, 2020

After months of negotiations, the City and County of LA reached a $300 million deal to house thousands of homeless...

Santa Monica’s Police Chief Retiring

October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

SMPD Cynthia Renaud announces retirement, to be replaced by former Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica has announced...

Virtual Staging Changing The Way We Sell Property?

October 16, 2020

October 16, 2020

Today on Westside Cribz, Chuck Lorre buys his neighbors home, Rage Against the Machine drummer Brad Wilk selling his Santa...