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Faces of Venice: Gus Zermeno, creator of the new “Red Hot Chili Peppers” mural



Gus Zermeno
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Pass the Spotlight, by Venice Paparazzi’s Alex Stowell,  is a transferable interview that is passed from person to person in the Venice, California community.  Whoever is completing the interview gets to choose who the goes next. The purpose is to shine a light on all the positive things being done by the fantastic folks in our town!  Maybe you will be next.
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About the Artist Gustavo Zermeno Jr:  
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How many years in Venice?  
My whole life, 30 years
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Tell us about your business or art! How you got into it, and why it is awesome.  I’m an artist/muralist.  I’ve been painting since high school and got into murals in 2015 after a friend asked me to paint his living room. 
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Describe your style?  I’m not sure if I have a specific style but I guess I’d have to say it’s a mix of landscapes and portraits. For my landscapes I mainly focus on Venice/ Los Angeles with vibrant sunsets. As for my portraits, I paint everything from Kobe Bryant to our dog Winstone (who’s in two murals). 
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Red Hot Chili Peppers by @GZ.JR. Photo by VenicePaparazzi.omRed Hot Chili Peppers by @GZ.JR. Photo by VenicePaparazzi.om

Red Hot Chili Peppers by @GZ.JR. Photo by VenicePaparazzi.om
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RHCP mural is located next door to  the iconic Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Morrison mural on Speedway & 19th in Venice, California.  
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What, would you say, has had the largest impact upon your particular style?  Definitely Venice.  Growing up I was always drawing people, mainly my friends. Then in high school I was introduced to painting and loved it. I would walk around Venice with a disposable camera taking pics of everything from the canals to the walk streets and then recreate them into watercolor paintings.
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Please list the murals that you have in the area?   My first mural ever “Love letter to Venice” is at Hoagies 1720 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291. I also have “The World is Yours” at the same location, both in the parking lot. One of my personal favorites is “Everyone Loves Vin” located at Sports Harbour 13484 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
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Gus’ awesome dog and model Winstone
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What projects are  you currently working on?     I’m excited about a new project in Santa Monica I will be starting soon. I don’t wanna say too much about it other than it’s Santa Monica themed and it will be my largest mural to date.
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Who inspires you?  I’m inspired by a lot people, a lot of things in general. Music is awesome, a certain song comes on and everything starts flowing. Definitely photography, people have taken some amazing photos of this city. And Sports, I really am a die hard fan for all my teams.
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Among the many artists who’ve painted here in Venice, who are your favorites?  Of course Rip Cronk, I’ve seen his murals a million times and I still look at them when I walk by.  Also Jonas Never, he has a certain style, it’s a classic as soon as he paints it. 
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What’s one thing we can do to make the world a better place?  Connect with your community
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Finish off the statement “Life is…Beautiful
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What do you do on your days off? How do you treat yourself?  I love going to games, Dodgers, Lakers, Raiders, Kings
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Describe your perfect day in Venice:  Hitting the boardwalk on a hot summer day
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Your favorite Venice event(s), activities or happy places?  The Abbot Kinney Fest is always great
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What is your craziest or fondest Venice experience?  Too many favorites but the RHCP rooftop concert was definitely one of them. 
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Anything else about Venice that you would like to say?  Keep Venice weird.
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Any shout outs or thank you’s?  Big thank you to my family and friends. They’ve always showed love and support and it really means a lot to me. And a huge thank you to my mom, my number one fan. 
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Who should Venice Paparazzi cast the spotlight on next?   
I think Josh Klassman would be a great spotlight. He’s a photographer born and raised in Venice. A lot of his work is from the 80’s and early 90’s, mainly based on the lifestyle of the local skateboards and surfers of that generation. Amazing work, his IG is @jbk_photos.
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If you take a photo at one of Gus’ murals, please tag @GZ.JR.  Thank you Gus for your beautiful art.  We look forward to  seeing more of your amazing work around town.
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