Sculptures of Sand and Sweat Adorn Venice

For the Fourth of July holiday, Venice sand sculptor Scott B. Dosch decided to cover his latest creation with a little patriotism.

After spending five hours shaping a clump of wet sand with a plastic knife, brushes and a spray bottle, Dosch finished his lady of liberty: a female figure wearing sunglasses and a painted red, white and blue bikini.

Over the past seven years, Dosch has produced a variety of figurines from his perch on the Venice Boardwalk, including rape victims, deceased homeless people and mugging victims. He says his sculptures usually last two to three days before vandals begin adding artistic touches of their own.

"People try to stick cigarettes in the mouths or ride their bikes through them," he said. "One time I saw this kid run and deliver a flying kick, which took the head off. I saw him coming but it was too late."

Despite the patriotic theme of his latest subject, Dosch harbored no illusions about its longevity. "It's not likely it will still be here tomorrow," he said.


MUSCLE BEACH: Down the boardwalk from Dosch, body sculpture was the order of the day.

The City of Los Angeles' Department of Recreation and Parks held the July 4th Muscle Beach Venice Open, an annual amateur bodybuilding event featuring four weight divisions for men and two for women.

The crowd's favorite competition seemed to be the mixed pairs event, featuring couples moving and posing to music.

To rhythm and blues artist R. Kelly's song, "Bump N Grind," Loretta Gerard, a mother of two, and Super Heavyweight Greg Ducre took the top spot to the howls of the 1,000-strong crowd.

"You've got to be in sync with the music and your partner--you've got to know what they're doing all the time," said the glistening Ducre. "This is really the sexy, fun part of the competition."

Talk about being pumped for the Fourth.

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