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Getting to know the Crenshaw Cowboy of the Wild (I-10) West

by Rosalie Atkinson | Off-Ramp®

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Lovell Moore, the "Crenshaw Cowboy", puts on his latest art piece: a robot suit made of scraps of materials he has found. Rosalie Atkinson/KPCC

Have you unlocked the potential hiding in your creative mind? Local performer, artist, and curbside prophet Lovell, also known as the "Crenshaw Cowboy," wants to know!

Kenneth Lovell Moore, or just Lovell, sits behind a glittery, deconstructed vacuum cleaner, next to the American Carwash on Crenshaw Blvd in Mid-City. When Moore isn’t creating these galactic sculptures or asking drivers for donations so he can buy art supplies, he’s dancing like his favorite performer: Michael Jackson. Up until his highway side home was robbed recently, he was also twirling a guitar.

This disassembled vacuum is now an "outer space piece of artillery" according to Lovell Moore.
This disassembled vacuum is now an "outer space piece of artillery" according to Lovell Moore. Rosalie Atkinson/KPCC

Though this corner has been Moore's home for a long time, he says that he recently filed for housing with the VA. He says having a permanent residence will allow him to continue creating his art pieces on a "higher scale, a higher level."

But before Moore came to Los Angeles, he says he traveled the world as a Marine, rode a double-humped camel, and even toured King Tut's tomb in Egypt. When he came to LA, he says, "I was still basically a loner but you know I had different jobs. They drove me into doing what I wanted to do: entertain and build something different."

Moore says that although he is out of the military now, he is still in service to his country.

But even before he joined the Marines, he was a part of a different brotherhood. He is one of seven brothers raised by a single mother in North Carolina. He says, "I guess because I walk so much like my father, and he wasn't there, I guess every time she looked at me she wanted to slap the hell out of me."

When his mother died, Moore says he didn't get to say goodbye to her. 

All your loved ones- I don't care what you are going through. Always tell them that you love them. I never got a chance to tell my mom I love her before she passed away. And the only thing that relieved me [was that] I had a vision I was at the foot of her bed. She raised up out of the bed and I said "Mom, I love you." And she smiled and laid back down.

The "Crenshaw Cowboy" can be found everyday on the corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and the i-10 West.
The "Crenshaw Cowboy" can be found everyday on the corner of Crenshaw Boulevard and the i-10 West. Rosalie Atkinson/KPCC

Despite spending most of his time alone, Moore says he isn't lonely. He says, "I'm quite happy because when I see people go to work, they're getting stressed out and frustrated... and then I see them laughing and smiling it makes me happy. Because I know they won't go home and take all that frustration out on their family."

Check out this video of Lovell Moore's dance moves done by Jordan Haro:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zR9CT6xLtWA

Some passersby smile and give Moore money for performing curbside. But he says some people aren't so kind. "One day someone passed by and they said 'Are you hungry?' and I say 'Sure, sure.' They gave me a pizza box... I open it up and there's like a thousand ants on it."

Once, Moore says, someone even gave him a Gatorade bottle filled with urine. But he says that doesn't stop him from doing what he loves: performing. He says, "You don't incorporate someone else's problem and make it yours. Let it stay their problem."

 

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