Ahhh…Ocean Beach, it’s beside the point. It’s an attitude, not an address, it’s a bastion for bohemian drifters, free thinkers, artists, bikers, and an occasional right wing nut-job. But we love it. We thrive on it. It’s our home.
While on a leisurely bike ride the other day, I was reminded of another reason I love OB; because OB has been keepin’ it weird since before I was born, and local artist Robert Guenther is no exception.
Let me be clear, I mean no disrespect by using the term “weird.” Quite the opposite, weird is what makes life interesting. Without a little weird, what fun would our existence on this earth be? We would all have the same haircut, the same clothes, the same political viewpoints, drink the same beer, drive the same car.
In fact, it sounds a lot like Utah. But I digress, the point is, Mr. Guenther will never have to worry about mistaking his car for a similar model. That’s because the artist has covered, what I believe used to be a 1991 Ford Camper van, completely in primer, and turned it into a rolling community mural.
Upon speaking with the soft-spoken, polite Mr. Guenther, and his associate Kelly, I learned that his original goal was to find a sponsor who would outfit his “gross-pollutant-vehicle” (his own words) with a solar system that would somehow power the vehicle to get him around town. A noble cause, unless you think Van Jones is a communist bogeyman and oil is a renewable commodity that will last for eternity.
With a lack of solar sponsorship, Mr. Guenther has remained undeterred and continues to paint murals and words of inspiration on his old “Gross-pollutant-vehicle” in the hopes that it will inspire and bring together some like minded artists who wish to share in the vision he is crafting. So, if you’re out by the pier, take a walk slightly north and visit Mr. Guenther, he’ll provide the paint, and you too can help keep OB weird.