Venice West and the LA Scene
Swinging in the Shadows (Part One) 

The myth of the muse set our spines straight directed.
— Tony Scibella

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Rebels from the 50s in the City of Angeles 

The connection between art and poetry set the aesthetics during this short-lived but dynamic time in Los Angeles. Poets influenced the artists and were, in turn, inspired by the art. 


Venice West and the LA Scene brings out what developed in Southern California among this underground group.  It’s the story of the early Ferus, Syndell Studio, Gas House, and Venice West Café told in the words of the participants.  What took place in these spaces, studios and in the “pads” in Venice and LA were the roots of what developed into a very professional; but still, energetic Los Angeles art scene.  The surviving poets, most still living in poverty, remain true to the uncompromising spirit they forged in the 50s. 
View contributed artwork available for purchase. 

The Participants

Philomene Long  Photograph by Pegarty Long

Philomene Long 
Photograph by Pegarty Long

Art is Love is God
— Wallace Berman
Brilliantly succeeds in recreating a richly innovative exciting era—Delightful and profound.
— Susan Landauer, author and art historian
John Altoon in his studio

John Altoon in his studio

Photographs by Charles Brittin