Arielle Haze views
In the Old Days:
Dale Hartman snapshots
Unpainting the Town:
Helen K. Garber photos
Art at the Rose Cafe'
New Venice Sign
To visit Jeff Verges at his own site and view an astonishing variety of great graphic design, tap the picture below.
Interview with Jeff Verges
V. V. Some of your work has a distinctly Summer of Love ambiance. What's that about?
J.V. I used to really be into the whole psychedelia movement as a kid. I guess that was my first love and got me into Graphic Design. Then my taste evolved. I'm really into artists like Coop, Kozik, and Jim Phillips now. Stuff with really clean, dark lines. The 60's look is cool and it's definitely become my trademark style. However, as an artist I'm really trying to evolve and break out of that. When I do a poster for something in Venice for example, it's hard not to put that 60's flair into it. The 60's were such a big part of Venice history.
V.V. Do you live in Venice, have a studio here, or both? Since when? Why?
J.V. I live in Venice (off of Westminster and Speedway). I do all my work from home. My home is my studio. I've lived here for 6 years now. "Why?" you ask....Is there really anywhere else to live? My street is my home, my community, and my extended family.
V.V. Is being an artist in Venice different from elsewhere?
J.V. I think so. I think it's easier to get inspired around here. Almost everyone here is an artist, whether it be a painter, musician, poet, etc. I also think that living in Venice has helped me to let go of a lot of inhibitions as a person and an artist. Everything goes in Venice. Nobody is going to stop and say, "you can't do that," "that's weird," "that's not how we do it here."
V.V. How much time do you spend on Ocean Front Walk? What's your favorite thing about it?
J.V. I spend mass quantities of time at the local coffee shop on my street....that's for sure. That's about as close as I get to the boardwalk. The boardwalk is for visitors (tourists) in my opinion. I try to enjoy it in the morning when its quiet and peaceful. Once the busloads of people start coming in, I get the hell out of there...especially on the weekend. Don't get me wrong. If it wasn't for the tourists...Venice just wouldn't be Venice. They're the ones who are supporting all the vendors and artists out there. I try to remind myself of that. As for my favorite thing about it, well you're always going to see something interesting. Whether it be great art or performance, or just some crazy person wearing a Speedo and talking to a palm tree.
V.V. What's your favorite cultural institution in Venice and why?
J.V. If I understand the question..........Ground Works coffee shop. It's totally a cultural melting pot. You'll find every type, race, color and shape of person lurking around there. Some may argue with me, but I definitely think of it as a Venice Institution!
V.V. Do you wish you had been around in the old days when it was funkier, for instance in the Beat era?
J.V. For sure. I wish I could have been around for every era. There's been so many. Venice seems to keep reinventing itself. We just have to remember that we're part of this one now. That's a pretty big honor. I wonder what the next wave will bring in. As long as Venice doesn't become more commercialized...I'm happy. The day they put a Starbucks on the boardwalk is the day I'm going to have to find a new place to live.
V.V. Are you strictly computer graphics or also an easel painter?
J.V. I haven't picked up a paint brush in years. I never was much of a painter though. Before I bought my first computer, I used pencils and Prismacolors. Those are my roots. I still go to the sketch pad first when mocking up a design.
V.V. Have you painted a mural in Venice or done decoration in any interiors?
J.V. Just one. Some friends and I did a "guerilla-style" painting at about 3 in the morning once. I can't really say of what or where. Don't want the LAPD knocking on my door. All I can say is that it was pretty well received by the neighborhood. Well enough that it's been there for a few years now. Just last week it was horrifically vandalized, so it needs to be redone. And no, it's not a painting of a gorilla. I would LOVE to do a commissioned work here though. That would be a high honor.
V.V. What is your favorite of the Venice murals, past or present?
J.V. I have three favorites. Rip Cronk's adaptation of "The Birth of Venus" at Windward and Speedway. It's been part of Venice for so long and he keeps updating to fit the times. I love that. The full body portrait of Jim Morrison at 18th and Speedway is also awesome. My most recent favorite is at Brooks and Pacific. Done by Chase at 6fourteen. I've been seeing his stuff pop up all over town. I really dig his style.
V.V. If you could meet any historical Venetian who would it be?
J.V. Jim Morrison of course.
V.V. Have you written poetry with Venice subject matter or inspiration?
J.V. No poetry. I did write a short which takes place in Venice. We shot it last fall. It's still in post though. Called "Cruel to be Kind."
© 2004 - 2012 Pat Hartman