Stencil work found on NE Killingsworth behind a Korean mom & pop. Why are these street artists so shy? All this sneaking amounts to a nuisance. No wonder the city thinks this is vandalism. Be daring – or get a canvas.

Two peculiar pieces below – shown in three pictures here – by the same artist, both on small pieces of plywood – the bike about 5 x 8 inches and the murder 5 x 15 inches.

Both are wood screwed into the patio fence of a PSU deli. Rust on the screws says these two have been up for a few months – at least through a lot of rain. They’re set down around shin high – not particularly visible. The murder piece is clearly the work of a sick mind. Or copied from another sick mind.

I haven’t found any others like these. Of course I am not looking.

Years and years ago I used to collect the artwork of a person I called Mr. Clifton. A grossly psychotic man, young and strong and black as ink, usually wearing loose overalls and a workshirt. He lived under bridges and painted on scraps of sheetrock he’d pull from dumpsters in acrylic paint with his fingers. The pictures were crude and always had a comment or question. Otherwise he minded his own business.

I collected a dozen or so of these. He’d leave them around downtown, leisurely leaning against a bus stop or a trash bin. This was long before William Jamison started showing “naive” artists. I’d pick them up in a weird treasure hunt.

Once my companion and I found his lair – under the west end of the Marquam Bridge. Desolate and beautiful urban beach – with thunder constant overhead. We found sculptures scattered about, made of fish bones, twigs and stones laid in ornate designs, and collected trash. He had good but crazy taste.

One hot summer day he boarded a bus I was on, wearing nothing but his overalls which had served as his paint rag. He carried a fishing pole and a white plastic bucket of water. In one pants pocket he had a salmon – probably 20 inches long, and in the other a bright yellow dahlia fully spread, dripping labia wet.

He also made paintings under highway overpasses. Over the years we spotted dozens of these – from San Francisco to Seattle, following the route of his mad wanderings. The last extant one we saw was in about 1990. We have no pictures – no artwork. I imagine someone has him locked up somewhere.

If you know the whereabouts of this person – please contact this blog.

Advertisements