As a youth I was always fascinated by the idea of Los Angeles. It represented Dogtown, Hollywood nights, hardcore punk rock, chicano culture and emerging gangster rap. It was a place that held a deep mystery for me and somewheres I always wanted to explore. You could say it was destined to be my 2nd home.
One of my first tour guides in my initial forays shortly after graduating High School into the culture or sub cultures of Los Angeles was Shawn Mortenson. In 1987 I met Shawn with my friend and travel companion Eric Haze. I was enamored with him ever since. Shawn was a special person, an amazing artist and a friend for more than 20 years.
Shawn was an activist, a thinker and a amazing photographer. Shawn departed the earth yesterday after many years of health issues. What was so amazing about Shawn was his ability to touch so many peoples lives with his wit,humor, compassion and his over all unique and powerful energy. His being translated across many cultures from high fashion to gangster rap seamlessly. Culturally he spoke many many languages something I always marvelled at.
In a city full of character’s Shawn will always be one of the most colorful of all my friends in Los Angeles and synonymous with the heart of this city. Along with iconic people like Everlast, Chrisitan Hosoi, DJ Muggs, Esteban Oriole,Mr.Cartoon, Steve Olson and Cesario” Block” Montoya he will always be one of the shining stars within the culture of Los Angeles. He was also a courageous and valiant person full of honor and respect. I am beyond proud to have considered him a friend.
Today the light of the city of angels and my own heart are that much dimmer as we mourn and celebrate the life of this amazing man.
Shawn we all love you and when this moment of grief has passed and the tears have stopped flowing we will never stop celebrating you and your amazing life. Every time I come to LA I will always think of you and how you held us down all those years ago. Shawn was simply loved by all.
Rest in power my brother