More about Ocean Park No. 29

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Beach Boy Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park No. 29 is one of over a hundred abstract landscapes of Santa Monica, California.

California’s golden art child of the 20th century, began his Ocean Park series in 1967 while teaching at UCLA and continued the series until 1988. These O.C. paintings never intended to be landscapes that reflected Santa Monica, but his use of color and line mimic the ocean horizon point most recognize as the pacific ocean. But wait, Diebenkorn didn’t face the ocean while painting, instead, he pointed his canvas towards the hillside focusing on the light reflection on the hills beyond his window... So much for an ocean view. His goal was not to present perfection, but the act of creation itself.

Diebenkorn remains hard to categorize and elusive figure in California’s art scene. The classic introvert, he often buying art supplies at out-of-the-way art supply stores where he wouldn’t run into more famous artists living in the area (introverts around the world can relate). Main Street, which runs through the Ocean Park neighborhood, wasn’t as bougie and hipster in 1967 as it is today. Literally at the end of the country as well as Los Angeles, Santa Monica is as far out of L.A. as one can get, which means rent is cheap and artists love (and can afford) cheap rent.

Ocean Park No. 29, the 29th painting in a series that spans over two decades, allowing us to start California Dreamin’ from anywhere that remains cold and dreary. Bring your sunscreen, and prepare to be swept away by these ocean-esque landscapes.



Comments (1)

Luke Dahl

I enjoy the bright, vibrant colors that Richard Diebenkorn used in this painting. The time I took to gaze at this painting brought out a sense of calming and overall good vibes.