When artist Cheri Pann purchased it in 1994, Venice’s iconic Mosaic Tile House was as an ugly little single-story home and Venice was a quirky bohemian enclave. More than two decades later, tech money is transforming the neighborhood and the Palms Boulevard house stands as a glorious example of the kind of outsider art for which Venice was once known.
Nearly every inch of the 6,000 square-foot lot around the home—as well as the walls of the house and much of the interior—is adorned with tile, household objects, dolls, tools, and nearly every kind of colorful or ornate item imaginable. A new video from director Nik Kleverov explores the history of the project and the artistic partnership shared by its creators, Pann and her husband Gonzalo Duran.
Pann initially hired Duran to build a painting studio. An experienced ceramics artist, he began adding tile work to the home’s exterior. Pann explains that she makes the tiles, and Duran breaks them apart and lays them around the property. The couple plan new additions together, but Pann says that the fast-working Duran often surprises her with new additions to the ever-changing home.
The couple offers tours of the home to curious visitors, and Pann says she is considering seeking landmark status for the residence. "It needs to stay in the public," she says.