Photographic Memory: Artist Covers Family Home in Pics Prior to Demolition

To celebrate 70 years of family memories, artist Gary Sweeney plastered his family home in Manhattan Beach with old photographs, an installation that lasted until the building was demolished.

The photos, shot by his late father, were printed out in large formats and turned into a kind of exterior wallpaper documenting the artist’s childhood. At night, spotlights illuminated the work that wrapped facades and covered doors.

“I went through kind of a mini-panic when I sold the house and I really felt the need to do something to commemorate it and to give it a proper goodbye,” Sweeney said, peering at the roof’s peak through his red-framed glasses. “So this is what I came up with.” Putting up the photos, Sweeney struck up conversations with visitors who had traveled to see the work as well as friendly neighbors sad to see him go.

A Manhattan Beach Memoir: 1945-2015 also involved tours of the place, a way to come to terms with the sale, the destruction and the home’s replacement with an apartment complex. Sweeney said “I hope it triggers fond memories of the family because my father was a very beloved man, and for people who didn’t know the family, I hope it triggers memories of their own of growing up in Manhattan Beach.”