Yesterday we shared two stories on Watts Towers: one examined the history of the space while the other shared a documentary based around the Towers. Today, we have a similar something to share, a story of an everyman in Silver Lake who works a job like everyone else during the day but–at night–is hard at work maintaining and evolving a garden he has created of found objects, art, and the intermix of the two.
The garden belongs to Alberto Hernandez, a Mexican artist and garden superintendent at Hollywood Forever who has become known in town for his spectacular backyard. The space creates multiple small art installations, using bottles and cans and other things Hernandez fishes out of the trash or finds, fitting them into his backyard. He compliments them all with mosaics and paintings and doesn’t let them sit for too long: he’s known for constantly revamping the space.
Hernandez has been working on his garden for seventeen years and says that he has about another twenty five years to go until it is finished (but will it ever be?). Everything about Hernandez and his garden rings very, very similar to Sam Rodia and his Towers: both were American immigrants, both were creating passion projects out of nothing, and both were creating for no other reason than that they had to make it–it was a duty, not a chore. His creation is quite whimsical and really reminds me of the garden in Harriet The Spy, a place that I always wanted to make a visit to but knew all too well that it was probably not even real. Now, it seems like it is all too real.
Hernandez’s garden is showcased in a little video made by Martjin Doolaard, who shot the video and did an interview with Hernandez when he was in town. The video shares a lot of the garden and insight into the thoughts going into it. However, although the video is fantastic, it feels like there is so much more to Hernandez’s garden than the seven minutes portrait: it is a place that you have to actually visit, not just look at in a video. For more on the garden, you can also read a quick interview with Hernandez from 2004 conducted by LA Weekly.