The birth of my child was a joyous occasion and filled me with an overwhelming creative impulse that desperately needed an outlet. Being naturally predisposed to a distrust of artists and their lackeys (promoters, producers, gallery owners, etc.) and outright contempt for the paradigm of art as a commodity (combined with my fear of failure and rejection), I set out to create a work of art that would appear for a brief time in the public sphere, anonymous, unannounced, free of expectation, and open to the world.

I entered into this realm with no long term plan or vision, I just needed to create something and share it with strangers, friends or whoever happened to be passing by my little corner of the world. So I picked a random spot, a telephone pole on the corner of Salsbury and Parker in East Vancouver, (I lived in a house on this corner from 1997-1999). It has been 13 years now, I try to put up at least one work every year, sometimes I manage two. They only last for a few days at most, I put them up before dawn and take them down late at night when their store of goods has been exhausted. It took a few years before I settled on a theme; the works always contain gifts of some sort, an opportunity for exchange, or just a random trinket for someone to take away.

May 1998, the first one didn’t last long . I had worked at it for days prior to its presentation. Painstakingly drawing and painting, I even included some copper work in its final form. To describe it would be difficult; inside a small metal box, there was a Smurf with a chainsaw, against a background depicting a clearcut forest, stumps and logs scattered around the landscape. I believe I featured the words, “Coming Soon” as the banner to my creation. It was up for less than 4 hours. A person with no respect for public art?, or perhaps a zealous patron of the arts? Someone pilfered it, though I never discovered whom. I preferred to imagine that someone was so taken by it that they had to have it at any cost, even if it meant crossing the line into criminal activity. This thought made me very happy, and encouraged me to do more.

Please have a look at the works through the years, and if you or someone you know has had an experience with them, please comment. Tell me your story, what you found, what you left, how it affected your day or your life.

Friday, 21 October 2011

September 2003

This was a chance to use more photos that I had lying around.  I gathered as many as I could and framed them on paper. All of the black and white images were self-developed (see below), culled from the hundreds of images I had processed in my darkroom back before the digital age (Pre-2005 for me).  The paintings I included came from an artist and dear friend of mine, name of DJ. He gave me dozens of small prints that he had no use for.  Such a fine man to collaborate with, he lives in Seattle.  One of the paintings even depicted a girlfriend of mine at the time, J.

The images were adhered to cardstock, and on the back of each one I again put a line or two or three from a song/poem/prose that I fancied.  Some examples below for your consideration:

I wish you were
A walk through the park


The earth’s condition
Is receptive devotion


Sleep and love again
More sweet than I


In streams we bathed
In sunlight saved

I was in a thoughtful/romantic mood when I chose the words to accompany these images.  Normally I throw in a number of rude, salacious, sarcastic lines, but I could find none in the list I recorded, how odd.  I guess I am just an old softy sometimes.

I did receive a lovely handwritten note from someone named Erin (Thank you Erin).  She tore a piece of an envelope off and wrote the following: (see below). 

The images then went into plain, unmarked manila envelopes.  The box I made myself from some scrap wood.  I added a few well aged pieces of copper to the box to make it extra fancy.  I have no further notes or memories of this box.

A sample of the gifts that accompanied the offering box.

Box installed

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