Clown in a dress.

Clownerina - Giant Clown in Tutu

Field review by the editors.

Venice, California

Venice, California is a town of contradictions. Watching a disheveled man you swear is homeless get into a $70,000 car and drive off is simply one of a thousand unsettling details. On the beach there are two freak shows -- one you pay admission for, and one you get to see for free -- by walking down the ocean promenade.

Main Street in Venice offers the whimsical Binoculars building, and the you-call-that-whimsical, I'll-show-you-whimsical Clown in a Dress, nicknamed "Ballerina Clown" or just "Clownerina." It's a ballerina in a tutu on one toe, wearing over-sized white gloves and a red-nosed clown head with hat. Sculptor Jonathan Borofsky's creation, unveiled in its current spot in 1989, is 30 feet tall, standing on a large crate above the entrance to a CVS Pharmacy.

Perhaps it's in the tradition of the martini-tipping pink elephant? "I'm seeing things -- time for more medicine."

The clown was originally built in 1988 as a gallery piece for a local art museum, with aluminum, steel, and painted fiberglass. Borofsky's intent was to capture a festive street performer mashed up with a "formal classical ballet dancer."

An electric motor makes the right leg execute a slow kick. It was turned off in 1990 (the building tenants complained that it was noisy), but restored in 2014. Clowneria now kicks daily between 1 and 6 PM, at least until her motor shorts out or the neighbors complain again.

Clownerina - Giant Clown in Tutu

Address:
Main St., Venice, CA
Directions:
Corner of Rose Ave. and Main St.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

More Quirky Attractions in California

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in California.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use RoadsideAmerica.com's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

October 21, 2014

My Sights

Map and Plan Your Own Roadside Adventure

Try My Sights

Roadside America app
Roadside Presidents app

California Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

San Francisco Dungeon, San Francisco, California (Oct 20-26, 2014)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sightings. Arrives without warning. Leaves no burn marks. A free newsletter from RoadsideAmerica.com. Subscribe now!
RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special online rates for hotels & motels.

Nearby Hotels and Motels, Venice, California

Nightly rates found:

Book Online Now