If you ever find yourself in search of a CVS in Los Angeles, go to this one in Venice with a giant clown in a tutu above the entrance.
The 30-foot sculpture, nicknamed “Ballerina Clown” or “Clownerina,” was created by Jonathan Borofsky. The top part is a red-nosed, scruffy face clown, while the bottom half is a ballerina on one toe.
The half man-clown, half ballerina doesn’t make sense — which is why it’s perfect for Venice.
Here is Borofsky’s description of the installation:
The Venice Boardwalk is full of all kinds of people in all sorts of outfits and the atmosphere is very festive with many live street performances taking place, especially on weekends. This sculpture is an accommodation or resolution of opposites in one. Not only does this image bring the male and female together into one figure, but also, two opposite types of performers are represented: the formal classical ballet dancer and the traditional street performer. Of course, this public sculpture might push the envelope in ‘taste’, but if you have ever walked the Venice Boardwalk on a Sunday afternoon, you might understand why this figure is right at home.
Harlan Lee, the developer of the mixed-use building where Clownerina lives, picked it because he, too, thought it captured the complex character of the neighborhood.
According to Curbed LA, Lee saw a similar piece at MOCA and it clicked with him. Clownerina captures the beauty and sadness of Venice—ocean views, homelessness, creative expression, tourism, head shops.
The statue was unveiled in its current spot at the corner of Main Street and Rose Avenue in 1989.
Oh and if you’re lucky, you might see it kick!