Artist William Attaway is applying tiles to his "Grunion Run" mosaic at the restrooms by the new basketball court along the Venice boardwalk. The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks commissioned Attaway to work on the mosaic and a nearby 20-foot ceramic column Attaway calls "Cultural Currents." Both were officially opened Jan. 11.
"So anyway, I'm cross-culturing my incantations here . . . There's a lot of spaces around we can still do--the light posts, the walls around the rec center.
Near the basketball courts here is a really intense area. I'm outside all day in the sun. This guy was hitting people along the boardwalk with his skateboard; some lady with didgeridoos came up and called me a snobby artist. Meanwhile, I'm still broke.
Then a little girl came up and said, 'They don't know.' 'Oh!' I thought, 'my angel.' So I gave her a tile with a fish on it. She loved it and walked away. All of a sudden, I saw the police rushing down there, and an ambulance, and I thought it was the guy who had attacked me with the skateboard. It was her. She had gotten to the corner and was hit by a car, flew about six feet. Her mother said she flew in the air and held the fish so tight, she broke it. And all the way to the hospital, she kept talking about the fish.
Next day the mother said the fish is an angel, because [her daughter] only had one little scrape on her knee and elbow. People who saw it got the pieces of the fish back to her mother. They went back home to Minnesota, and I'll probably never see them again."--Hank Rosenfeld