Ballerina Clown – Los Angeles, California - Atlas Obscura
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Los Angeles, California

Ballerina Clown

A three-story, three-dimensional hobo clown in a tutu welcomes CVS shoppers. 

Most drugstores you come across in the greater Los Angeles areas are tucked into strip malls, camouflaged among nail salons, grocery stores and cell phone retailers. Directions usually consist of “Yes the strip mall with the pizza place…no, not that one, the one with the pizza place and the discount dress store.”

The people of Venice however, have a much easier time of explaining the location of their local chain pharmacy and sundry shop – It’s located directly beneath the three-story tall hobo clown in the ballerina’s costume. You can’t miss it.

Created by sculptor Jonathan Borofsky in 1988, the ballerina clown was meant to capture the essence of the street performers so prevalent in Venice, while combining the formality of a classic ballet dancer. The giant figure, made of fiberglass, steel and aluminum has an electric motor in the right leg, allowing the red-nosed prima donna to execute a slow kick, but it’s rarely in operation. Despite the lack of movement, the strange hobo clown dancer is a surprising sight to behold when you’re merely searching for a place to buy toothpaste.

Know Before You Go

Corner of Rose Ave. and Main St.