Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Peculiar Little World

The Drowning?

This is the most fascinating graffiti I’ve seen in Portland. It’s part of a whole “mural” that wraps around what I presume is an abandoned building. I first spotted it a few months ago, and I keep fearing that one day I’ll pass the building and the images will be painted over or defaced. I’m glad I was able to take a few photos before that happens. So far, they rank as the crown jewels of my Keep Portland Weird photo series.

The artist has created a peculiar little world populated mainly by a tribe of squat little people with crenulated heads.

Castleheads with Cat

There also are a few taller folk who remind me of sinister hospital orderlies.

Squarehead with Regal Bird

I imagine the hospital orderlies take orders from these guys, who are being squeezed out of an enormous double-ended toothpaste tube. Or maybe they’re not the ones in charge. They look too world-weary to give a shit about anything.

Weird Sleepy, Toothy, Horned Heads

Or maybe this guy’s the kingpin. I like how the artist incorporated that old electric meter right into the narrative of the scene.

Squarehead Kid with Unfinished Squid

It’s all pure speculation on my part about what’s going on in the mural, and for all I know this is actually “sanctioned” graffiti. I know that when I lived in Chicago several businesses hired graffiti artists to do giant side-of-the-building advertisements for them. Clearly this isn’t an advertisement for anything that’s for sale here on Earth, but Portland’s very big on public art, so maybe the city has actually tossed some dollars out to this graffiti artist? That would explain why it hasn’t been painted over, but then why isn’t it finished or signed? Anyway, I hope it stays, and I hope the artist continues to work on it; it’s my favorite piece of public art in Portland, sanctioned or not.

Today's Random NaBloPoMo blog: Candy Blog


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