Funky Venice compound once owned by artist Billy Al Bengston lists for sale


An eclectic Venice compound once owned by noted artist and sculptor Billy Al Bengston has come up for sale at $5.495 million.

The compound embodies the creative spirit of the Venice Beach area with four offbeat structures that surround a long lap swimming pool. Tucked away on a 9,570-square-foot lot, the buildings include a single-story main house, a two-story guest house and an artist’s loft. A spa and outdoor shower, a two-car garage and a workshop lie elsewhere on the fenced and gated property.


The main residence features an expanded master suite, French doors and a kitschy galley-style kitchen. There are fireplaces in the living room and master bedroom as well as the guest house. Soaring ceilings and open space highlight the artist’s loft.

The structures combine to offer a total of five bedrooms and nine bathrooms.

Bengston acquired the compound in 1988 for just $32,000 and sold it in 2004 for about $2.375 million, records show. More recently, the property was owned by late screenwriter Melissa Mathison, who was nominated for an Oscar for her work on Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.”

Bengston gained fame in the 1960s as a member of Walter Hopps’ Ferus Gallery and L.A.’s “Cool School” of artists. His works are displayed across the world in permanent collections at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Guggenheim in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others.

David Offer of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties holds the listing.