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Art Is Where It's At: Windward Circle

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A few months ago I noticed a nekkid lady’s torso perched on a plinth in the middle of the Windward Traffic Circle in Venice. Considering the calle vida thereabouts, this shouldn’t have raised an eyebrow. Yet, the utter incongruousness of a slick, black, metal, larger-than-life sculpture in the midst of "don’t harsh my mellow" Bohemia, made me stop and gawk. Regardless of yellow caution tape, I sprinted across to the island, which is roomy enough for the locals to gather and drum together on Earth Day, and got a lensful of sexy.

The statue was (and remains to date) unlabeled, but something about her looked familiar. It took me a half a latte at the Coffee Collage, before I remembered who supposedly lives on Windward Ave.: the celebrated and accomplished artist (and husband of Anjelica Huston) Robert Graham. Graham gets commissioned to do a lot of civic art. You’ve probably seen his work and not realized it at LACMA, UCLA, The Norton Simon, The Music Center, Los Angeles Cathedral, The Olympic Gateway and the median at Rodeo and Dayton, which is graced by a similarly shiny torso.