Good Art

Cheri Pann is an artist who lives a few blocks from me in Venice. Her entire house is covered in mosaic made from broken glass, china, toys, bottle tops and other stuff that looks pretty. The mosaic starts on the sidewalk outside her front gate and extends into the kitchen. Every inch of surface is covered in mosaic. It has taken 13 years to create and it is still a work in progress.

The first time I had the nerve to knock on her door was several years ago, on Halloween. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a truly ecstatic experience. I will never forget it.

Every year, she has an open house and puts some of her paintings and ceramics up for sale. She lives with her partner Gonzalo, a painter, and shares a massive studio with him in back of the house. Cheri is somewhere around 70 years old but she’s one of the most vibrant women I’ve ever met. She is utterly cool without giving a shit about coolness.

Let’s all think of Cheri when we feel depressed about all the stupidity in the world!

Visit her house if you get the chance, and tell her I sent you.

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35 Responses to “Good Art”

  1. jd Says:

    Oh wow! This is magical! Like a trippy dreamworld…I love her already

  2. Jill Says:

    Duquette would have been at home here.

  3. arline Says:

    gorgeous!

  4. SACRAMENTO Says:

    It reminds me of Gaudi´s work .
    I am very much in love with colour and making things different to the rest of the world. I do think that it is exceedingly beautiful.
    Un abrazo
    sacramento

  5. PeaceBwithU Says:

    I was thinking…. Maybe you should pay Cheri a visit today.

  6. Dorky Medievalist Says:

    I love this.

    So much.

  7. patni Says:

    You just made my day.

  8. RedPaeony Says:

    It looks otherworldly, like a wonderland of color.

    It’s just lovely!

  9. rebecca Says:

    omgomgomgomgomgomgomg

    That’s exactly what I want to do with my house. I mean, not somebody else’s ideas, but to turn my house into a work of art/ self-expression.

    Where in Venice is she, and when’s her next sale?

  10. rebecca Says:

    Just clicked the link… address included… duhhh

  11. miss cavendish Says:

    How wonderful to live surrounded by so much color!

  12. golden gate jumper Says:

    this is amazing; i want to be her when i get old. beautiful.

  13. HelOnWheels Says:

    Stunning! It reminds me of Gaudi’s Park Guell in Barcelona but so much more personal.

  14. the real andrea Says:

    So beautiful! Yes, it does look like Parc Guell! I am definitely going to look her up if I am out there. And for those of you on the east coast, or if you are near Baltimore, there is the American Visionary Art Museum which is all outsider art. Definitely worth a visit. And in NY, there is always an exhibition of outsider art once a year- at the Puck Building, I think. And some of it is up for sale.

  15. kristen Says:

    oooh Sister Wolf! There’s an artist named Isaiah Zagar who’s been covering buildings here in Philly with tile mosaics like that for years. I’ve been here 10 years and I still occasionally stumble upon one I’ve never seen before. http://www.phillymagicgardens.org/

  16. Suzanne aka Punk Glam Queen Says:

    Like the others who mentioned it, it immediately reminded me of Park Guell in Barcelona (oh how I love Barcelona, and feel incredibly blessed to have been able to see it!) I absolutely love this sort of mosaic work, its not only beautiful but seems so personalized. In NYC there used to be a few women who did this with the sidewalk cracks. It was such a sweet surprise to look down and see bits of cheerful mosaic peeking out of the sidewalks!
    XXX
    Suzanne

  17. Sonia Luna Says:

    Fantastic! Such a colourful and happy place, I’m envious of their studio (one day! one day soon).

    Did you know that Madonna’s daughter started to blog, I thought of you when I stumbled on it:

    http://materialgirlcollection.com/blog/?p=98
    (she’s no Tavi! I find it hard to believe it was really written by her and not by a 50 year old pretending to be 13!).

    (sorry, don’t know how to make the link clickable)

  18. Alicia Says:

    How beautiful! =D

  19. Liz Says:

    I love this house and your blog. Thank god some people in this world still have a sense of humor.

  20. Mark Says:

    Watts towers are worth a look, too.

  21. Bessie the Buddha cow Says:

    I’ve walked by her house many times. Always afraid that I would get caught taking pictures, and told to scat. Next time I’ll be braver, and maybe even knock on her door. Thanks for posting.
    Thinking of you! Still lighting candles.
    Well wishes going out to your dad.
    Signed,
    Can’t spell or type worth shit!

  22. Cricket9 Says:

    This is what “people with real interests, passion, and love” can do, Steven (I’m sure that you did not slit your wrists, as promised, and you still lurking here).

  23. urbain Says:

    Cool old kid on your block!
    Maybe Cheri Pann had a crush on Nikki de Saint-Phalle during the 70’s?
    I love monomaniac artists (wich is a pleonasm, all artists are monomaniacs) .
    Thanks for this, Sister.
    In France we have ‘le palais idéal du facteur Cheval’, the postman’s palace. His name means ‘horse’ and Cheval was really working like a draft horse to build his fairy palace during 30 years.

    about Jessica and Jane (OMG, I even know her name now): maybe Jessica will sell her a buckle or maybe she’ll seat Jane on a red ottoman and add her to the fabulous ménagerie.
    a ménagerie à trois (who will be the third..Mom?)
    No more blasphemous talk, it’s still talk and the best venom to (virtually) kill a massive ego is ignoring /her/him/it.

    hasta la vista hermanita

  24. Angelica Says:

    This is fucking amazing! It’s awesome that she is so committed to her project even after 13 years. She is a true artist and her work is absolutely beautiful. I wish I could see all of it in person!

  25. Aja Says:

    I’m definitely not the only person who saw this and immediately thought “Ooooh Barcelona!”

  26. backspace Says:

    The house is indeed beautiful and it looks so comfortable with all those trees as well

    Btw here in Indonesia someone has a house with used bottles as its walls: http://www.flobamor.com/forum/gado-gado-informasi/27241-rumah-botol-karya-anak-bangsa-cekidot.html

  27. Suspended Says:

    Made me think of Watts Towers, too.

  28. Gracie Says:

    This is fucking amazing! It’s awesome that she is so committed to her project even after 13 years. She is a true artist and her work is absolutely beautiful. I wish I could see all of it in person!

  29. Cricket9 Says:

    The “bottle house” is amazing, thanks Backspace!

  30. Andrea Says:

    As kristen mentioned there’s an artist called Isaiah Zagar.

    See the documentary ‘In A Dream’, featuring Philadelphia-based mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar, and his documented beautiful yet turbulent life.

    Here is the link to view the trailer: http://www.inadreammovie.com/
    The soundtrack and original score by Kelli Scarr is also quite exquisite.
    wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_a_Dream_%28film%29

    Cheri and Isaiah should mosaic the world.

  31. deja pseu Says:

    Wow, that’s fantastic! I love it!!

  32. TexasArt Says:

    So beautiful! What a great creative outlet … And to live in it!

  33. Dru Says:

    I’m a little lost for words, it’s that gorgeous.

  34. deborah Says:

    I saw their home on one of the HGTV shows, EXTREME HOMES, I believe. Beautiful! I’ve been doing this to my own home over the past ten years and find it a wonderful outlet for my artistic side.

  35. Renee Says:

    So beautiful . It’s amazing. I love it. I love making mosaics and it takes forever for me to make them they are so time consuming and tetius. I can’t believe the ex stint of her work its in incredible. That is commitment for you. Would love to have the means to do that to my house. You go girl. What a accomplishment !!!! Wow………

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