The most challenging thing about growing up in Venice? I guess it was deciphering the truth from everybody else’s BS.

At home, on the streets; it seemed like everybody, or just about everybody I talked to was either lying or they were making up stuff in their own heads. I would question my own reality. I was like, “Can I trust my brothers? Can I trust anyone?” I should be able to trust family, but it wasn’t always clear. My brothers were, you know, Venice hoodlums. Having those guys to look up to, for me, was insane for a while. I thought that was the road I would go down. I really didn’t think I had a choice.


Working with Brad James


Brad was the first to be painted in the West of Lincoln Project, following my own self portrait. He offered to tell his story and have me paint it before anyone else had agreed to participate. Brad and I met as little kids, crossing paths at the local church and the church summer camps. Later, I remember Brad being there when learning how to smoke pot at that church in a refrigerator box someplace out of sight on the property. I also knew who a few of his brothers were. Over the years, I wouldn’t see much of Brad until we worked together on this project.


Fear is a Liar, by Ruth Chase West of Lincoln Project Venice Ca
“Fear Is A Liar” Inspired by Brad James

W e s t  of  L i n c o l n  Project


August 5 – September 1

Opening Reception | Saturday, August 5, 4 – 8pm
13445 Beach Ave., Venice Marina, CA

About the Author Ruth Chase

Ruth Chase is primarily a project based artist whose award winning series, West of Lincoln Project, probed into the lives of individuals who grew up in Venice, CA. She is a California-based painter that uses biographical portraiture to communicate stories of compassion, and valuable insight that promotes positive social change. Her work includes the use of social media in her creative process to stimulate conversation around human value, as well as engaging the public to actively participate in the final outcome of her work.