Downtown Portland Murals, August 2019

I spent last weekend in Oregon, first in Monmouth for my “little” (functionally giant) nephew’s wedding, and then Portland for world-class sushi (and cauliflower!) at Bamboo (known for becoming the world’s first certified sustainable sushi restaurant, and for being super tasty) before hopping a late flight back to The Bay.

There’s a mural that always captures my eye in downtown Portland, northwest of Pioneer Courthouse Square, right about here, a haunting image of a woman, full height on a brick building, by Faith 47.

From this angle, I want to stick my head around the corner of the building, to see what’s worrying her.

The work and placement remind me of an international film class I took at the local junior college twenty-something years ago, in which the instructor showed us an example of the first time a director pulled viewers into the film by leaving the action off-screen. I wish I could remember the director and film, but my “look at me, I’m into international film” example will have to stand in this rather half-ass form.

Here’s the full context:

The mural on the right is by Rone. Both are from the 2014 Forest for the Trees mural project.

‘Round the corner (about here), basically above Bamboo, is another cool one. The face on this piece by Troy Lovegates and Paige Wright reminds me of the work of Pushead, an artist whose work has loomed large in my life since my earliest memories of skateboarding and punk/hardcore music.

I wish I could figure out what the thing hanging around her neck is. Maybe next time I’m in Portland, I’ll monkey myself up on that roof and take a closer look.

Here’s the full context:

The piece on the left is by Michael Reeder; both are from Forest for the Trees 2015. The black-ish building below is Bamboo’s downtown location, and if you dig sushi, you owe it to yourself to check it out when you’re in Portland. Everything they do is tasty, but their crunchy fried cauliflower is delicious, and their Green Machine and Ocean Farmer rolls are exquisite.

Angelica and I were trying to figure out the musical equivalents of these two rolls, and the best we could come up with was that the Green Machine is Metallica’s “Master of Puppets,” in that it fires up immediately and is very clear in its intentions to rock your tastebuds, while the Ocean Farmer is more delicate and complex—like a Giant Squid album, or something by another avant-garde post-hardcore progressive art rock experiment.

Wanna check out more murals on the ground in Portland? Check out and

Shot with a Canon 5D Mark IV using a EF 24–105mm f/4L lens.

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