Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Temple of Robert Alexander

Bob officiating a hot tub wedding ceremony in Venice, 1978. Photo: Lyle Mayer. 

"Bob Alexander longtime Venice poet and artist who’s exhibited at the Smithsonian, operates out of his small, warm, brown house in Venice (the “People’s Republic of Venice,” he calls it), headquarters of his ministry: the Temple of Man. He’ll marry you simply and straightforwardly in his study, on the beach, in a hot tub, even on roller skates along the bike path; he’s not a fan of ‘dogma, empty ritual or meaningless ceremonies.’ His temple is nonsectarian, so your religion or lack of it is no problem.” - Los Angeles Magazine, July 1979

I’ve been researching Mr. Alexander, the creator and main force behind the Temple of Man in Venice from its start in 1960 until his death in 1987. I thought the Temple of Man sounded like a utopian man-cave conceptual retail experience, but digging deeper, it turned out to be a nondenominational ministry founded on the well-known maxim -  “ART IS LOVE IS GOD” with one of Alexander’s closest friends, the artist Wallace Berman.

Above was an advert in a WET Magazine issue that my friend Mike Lohr let me borrow...  check out the Venice area code (213) back in the late 70's.  Also love the dual signatures... "Egg 79" and "Liseé"...

I don't know anything about this, but I love a hand-drawn invite.   For some more fun digging down the Bob Alexander wormhole, visit Kate Wolf's post on east of borneo... "In all this, persons come first. None of the above is to be construed as a rule or regulation. Humanness always comes first!"

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