Venice Beach is known for its boardwalk filled with colorful, eccentric people. The houses, buildings, and structures that dot this area also reflect this “rainbow coalition” of people. From simple beach bungalows to ultramodern homes, Venice is truly a unique place to live. But none of these places quite capture the effervescent essence of Venice like the Mosaic Tile House.
Though it’s not well known to the public, the moment you enter this large-scale artwork-in-progress structure, it’s like walking inside a coral reef. Most of the tiles are in the red, yellow, and orange spectrum, but bold colors radiate throughout the space. Almost every square inch of the home (including the outside) is covered in mosaic tiles. Cheri Pann and Gonzalo Duran, a husband and wife team, are responsible for this local masterpiece. Pann is the docent guide if you visit.
Pann and Duran’s “visual feast” began as a weekend project to install bathroom tiles, and it later developed into a lifetime love affair that’s lasted more than two decades. Cheri is an artist who creates contemplative large-scale oil paintings with mythic themes, and Gonzalo, canvases in vignettes of their life together.
For the house, Cheri creates the tiles, and Gonzalo shatters them and distributes them over every square inch of their home. Since 1994, the couple has been transforming their once bland, beige stucco home into the structural kaleidoscope that it exists as today. The Mosaic Tile House is still a work in process–there are still sections where it has not yet been completely covered in tiles–but what is completed is more than enough to give the average person a visual overload. What might catch your attention is a fruit tree and vegetable garden incorporated into all the tile landscaping, and a black fridge stuffed with dolls that Pann has described as the dark part of her imagination.
So if you ever find yourself visiting Venice, once you’ve had your fill of Abbot Kinney and the Boardwalk, head east a mile or so, and visit the Mosaic Tile House.
Know Before You Go
The house is open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays only. Reservations are recommended, and can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.