It is such a delight when you make friends with someone, and then you keep finding out new cool things about them, and then you see their art in whatever form it takes, and you love it. That has been the case with knowing Destin Clover, so now let's have you know about him too. We're a community here in Venice, after all ("No bullshit about it" - D.Clover).
Perhaps you've seen him walking down Abbot Kinney, always in a good mood. It's hard not to be when you're constantly inspired by your surroundings, and the beautiful days we get to enjoy. Clover grew up in Oregon (Ashland) with hippie artist parents (darlings, we've met) who always encouraged him to be himself and to be a free thinker. He split for Portland to attend the "School of Rock", working at the Satyricon nightclub. He rolled with Elliot Smith and hung out with the whole grunge scene that would come through. Clover had his own band (The Drugstore Cowgirls), and always made art to express himself, as "good art comes from bad weather."
A visit to Venice made him fall in love with it, and he has made it his home for the past 17 years. The community inspires him, as well as supports him, and world class artists like Doug Aitken, Peter Lodato and Tom Everhart are both friends and mentors.
I tend to lean towards art with words in it, as I've mentioned before, so it was automatic that I became a fan of Clover's work, who says that "Words give me freedom ... I'm reckless in my art, so words help me solidify my meaning, and give structure to the chaos." Word.
In discussing our Venice, Clover said, "From the homeless guy waking up on the street to the business man double parking his Porsche ... I feel sorry for both of them." It's all about compassion, and we agreed that that old Golden Rule is "the only way to roll."
"Venice is constantly changing and there's never a dull moment ... Nothing is too dark and nothing is too bright." Clover has a great way of expressing what many of us feel, and may not even be conscious of, a rare gift.
Another obvious gift is his art work, now on display until the end of October at the Trim Salon on Abbot Kinney. The show is called Letters Never Sent, and is comprised of works on paper that feature insightful (back)words with spare, expressive images. And I love them.
Clover loves our beach, those sunsets, Hal's ("It's our office"), Gjelina ("An inspiration ... so many artists work and go there"), the Louver and the other many galleries popping up ("We're still an art-centric community, for sure"), The Roosterfish (fast becoming everyone's favorite/only dive bar left on Abbot Kinney), Biking everywhere, and the world's greatest people watching. "But I like the people the most, more than all the businesses." Agreed.
As Clover keeps busy, having a good time, playing with his band, The Lost Bird, working on his next art show, supporting his favorite charity, Zeno Mountain Farms (a camp for special needs kids here in Venice), and moving and shaking bringing artists together, he keeps his sunny optimism about life going, which is inspiring enough on its own.
We clinked a glass in the afternoon sunlight at Hal's, and Clover said, "Here's to your next mistake, my friends, and may there be many more! Travel light and go towards the future."
And now you can see why we're friends.
Letters Never Sent
Showing now through the end of October at:
1424 Abbot Kinney Blvd.