S: Visions of Venice Larry Brownstein
FC: Visions of Venice | Larry Brownstein
1: Visions of Venice by Larry Brownstein Copyright © 2015 Larry Brownstein Larry Brownstein Photography firstname.lastname@example.org www.brownsteinimages.com All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of the author.
2: Foreword There is a joke about God picking up the United States causing all the loose ends to fall down to Venice Beach. Well, whatever it is that makes Venice so wild and wonderful, it is a place like no other. Venice has been a part of me since I began hanging out there on roller skates. I’ve retired the skates but I often return with camera in hand awaiting the curtain to rise and the actors to take their marks. Venice Beach was once a place where The Doors could live cheaply while they made a name for themselves. Since then, Venice has been a stage for a variety of noteworthy characters—a skateboarding grandma, a chainsaw juggler, and a barefooted Rasta walking on mounds of glass shards. Venice is also the backdrop for Harry Perry, the roller skating, turban-wearing, rock-singing Sikh. In recent years, the Freakshow has been wowing the crowds with its bearded lady, sword swallower, fire eater, two-headed turtle and the cutest double-nosed Australian Shepherd you ever saw. Venice is a place where the homeless and the digerati, the Christians and the Krishnas all feel equally at home. You may find a homeless encampment on one stretch of the boardwalk and, not far away, the modern palaces along the canals. At the Hare Krishna Festival the devotees throw garlands of flowers from chariots that are trailed by Christians displaying signs declaring Jesus will judge you and Jesus saves from hell. Venice is replete with such contrasts. I recall that when my mother visited from Brooklyn, she was mesmerized by the sights of Venice. She was especially entranced watching the disco-dance-skaters performing their synchronized routines. It was at that exact spot that I first met Harry, a Swedish photographer who was here photographing the U.S. It was Harry who got me interested in photography and I have loved photography ever since. -- Larry Brownstein