Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 7th, 2010 at 4:56 pm
You might have noticed a bright new bike-inspired piece of public art on N. Williams Avenue just north of Fremont. The large panel is part of a multi-piece wall of murals that have gone up around the Boise-Eliot Outdoor Market.
The artist, former planner (design review) for the City of Portland Chris Beanes, emailed me the other day to tell me about the painting. I asked him to share his inspiration and a bit more background.
The subject itself is a bike riding calavera based on the traditional Mexican folk art tradition of cutting paper into elaborate designs known as "papel picado." The snake above the bike rider represents the spirit of ancient Mesoamerian deity Quetzelcoatl.
Chris said he's noticed a distinct lack of Latinos riding bikes in Portland and the painting is part of his personal effort to address that issue (he also applied to be on the City's Bicycle Advisory Committee). Beyond the lack of diversity among Portland's riding population, Chris wants to spread the word about biking because he credits it for keeping his diabetes at bay. "I am a testament to the goodness of biking — diabetes runs in my family and I attribute biking to keeping me healthy."
Chris says the mural is "meant to be a bridge, one of many to come."Email This Post Possibly related posts