Local OB artist creating mobile community mural

by on May 13, 2010 · 11 comments

in Culture, Energy, Environment, OB Heroes, Ocean Beach

mobile artist jc 01

Local mobile artist Robert Guenther. All photos by Jon Carr.

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.

mobile artist jc 02Upon 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.

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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.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

lane tobias May 13, 2010 at 9:47 am

hey jon, if being weird is cool, then consider OB Miles Davis.

Anyway, thanks for the post. I’ll keep an eye out and hopefully contribute to his rolling masterpiece.


Nate Hipple May 17, 2010 at 3:00 pm



Jon May 13, 2010 at 10:01 am

I think his van is in desperate need of an OBRag bumper sticker….


annagrace May 13, 2010 at 11:18 am

Delicious Jon. Here’s to keeping the “we” in weird.


Jon's Mom May 13, 2010 at 11:52 am

Definitely in need of more pink and at least a dozen hearts. I’ll get over there right away!


Jon May 13, 2010 at 12:32 pm

lol….my mother everyone. She likes pink.


MattB is RAD and drives a FORD May 13, 2010 at 1:10 pm

That paintjob is gonna put a real hampering on his abduction getaways.


Robert Guenther May 15, 2010 at 9:02 am

Alien Abductions? Welcome to the spaceship. I find myself painting the Gross Polluter with paint, helping all of you paint it and auditioning for band members. The Solar Powered Bus Band. Taking off to undisclosed locations in universes. Breathe deep out. Be deep. Breathe deep out. ALL the way out. Slowly all the way out. Blast off to the here and Now. Be here NOW. Paint on and BREATHE Sing and play.
Robert Guenther


Justin P May 13, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Nice work, Jon. Thanks for sharing!


Robert Guenther June 6, 2010 at 1:33 pm

The Solar Powered Band Wagon HAS BEEN IMPOUNDED BY THE PARKING LOT NEXT TO STARBUCKS AND THE PARKING NAZIS DID IT WITHOUT EVEN CALLING ME. I do not have the money to get it out of impound. The Art Car was a guest of the movie people who rented out the whole lot but I did not know they had left and then the parking lot Nazis came and snatched up The Solar Powered Band Wagon community art project without even calling me. The movie crazies mumbled something about using it in their production but did not even tell me they where done. Some people who live in old cars want to get the Solar Powered Band Wagon out of impound and paint it white so they can hide inside and continue being just they way they are. This world is being so pathetic I am very depressed and thinking about leaving all you pathetic people here alone to ruin your planet completely. It appears as if none of you really care about stopping the oil. May it cover your whole earth in blackness UNLESS YOU WAKE UP and give me a reason to stay here.


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