Sgt. Gonzalez of the LAPD is having a dandy time policing the Venice Beach boardwalk and making sure that the vendors are selling art and art only. That’s been his job since January, and unlike the several cops that quit the gig before him, he’s happy about it.
A new city ordinance bans all commercial activity on the beach-side strip, except for that of local artists. That means not only does Sgt. Gonzalez decide “What is art?” — dum dum dum! — he can also give some input. WSJ did a ride-along and it goes like this: Hula-hooping? Performance art! Hula-hoops? Not art. Pottery? Not deep enough. Crystals? Absolutely not art. Unless they’re beach-themed! Then, yes. Ta-da… Art. Homeless dude that’s been living here for decades?
“I said, ‘Create something, perform,’ ” Sgt. Gonzalez recalls. “If you’re out here and you do have some creative juices flowing inside you, figure it out.”
You may wonder where a cop gets his art background. He served a part-time security guard for Sotheby’s in Beverly Hills in the 1990s. Now, chop-chop, homeless man! Here. Here’s a hula-hoop. Perform art! (Photo: Flickr)