They call him the “Rock Star.”
For the past six years, Kevin Morgan has been building Stonehenge-like monuments, called “Angel Stones,” for all the people who arrive in Venice Beach with big dreams but end up victims of drugs or violence.
“It’s a memorial to 89 lives,” says the wiry Morgan, who lived in the beachside neighborhood for 27 years. “They came from all over the world, [but] lost their lives to bad influence choices. They are the forgotten souls of Venice Beach.”
Until a few months ago, Morgan rode two buses from Eagle Rock, which he now calls home, cleared away condoms and whatnot on the beach, and went to work on the memorial near the jetty at Market Street, where he would skillfully place one rock on top of another — from noon to sunset, Tuesday through Friday — to form a singular piece of art. A man taught him the art 14 years ago when he was visiting the Adirondack Mountains in New York.
“Mine is an art of supreme patience,” says Morgan.
Since the state started a beautification project on his part of the beach in January, Morgan has been looking for a “new locale” that will welcome the memorial, which sometimes has a theme, like a candle opera or, during Christmas, the Nativity.
“Venice Beach is too candy-covered right now,” says Morgan, explaining the difficulty of finding the right place to work.
But he is determined to keep the memorial going.
“People died from crack heart attacks, murders, suicides, but they were like you and me.”