Expose Yourself to Art

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"Expose Yourself to Art" was the name of a poster which featured future Mayor of Portland, Oregon, Bud Clark flashing a bronze sculpture of a nude woman. The poster made Clark, a bar owner in Goose Hollow at the time, a household name.

Poster[edit]

Former mayor of Portland, Oregon, Bud Clark was pictured in the poster flashing Kvinneakt.

The "Expose Yourself to Art" poster featured future Portland, Oregon, Mayor Bud Clark apparently flashing Kvinneakt, Norman J. Taylor's bronze sculpture of a nude woman. Clark appeared to be only wearing only a raincoat, but it was later revealed that he was wearing shorts and a T-shirt under his raincoat.[1]

The photo was taken by Mike Ryerson in 1978, then a staff member of The Northwest Neighbor. Ryerson and Clark originally intended to create a poster for the Venereal Disease Action Council until a reader submitted the caption "expose yourself to art".[2] With $500, Ryerson printed posters, then sold 800 for one dollar each by manning a booth at Waterfront Park. By 1984, the year Clark was elected mayor, Ryerson had sold more than 250,000 posters, with profits supporting The Northwest Neighbor.[2]

Ryerson later sold rights to the poster to Mike Beard, owner of Errol Graphics.[2] In 2010, Clark sold the coat he wore in the poster, among other household items, by secret bid.[3]

Reaction[edit]

The poster made Clark, a bar owner in Goose Hollow at the time and a founder of The Northwest Neighbor, a household name.[4] In 1984, six years after the poster's publication, Clark, running as a political outsider, began a long-shot campaign for Portland mayor against incumbent Frank Ivancie. Ivancie cited Clark's appearance on the poster as proof that he was not a serious candidate, and that his only claim to fame was "exposing himself to a downtown statue."[4][5] Clark handily defeated Ivancie and served two terms as mayor.[4][5] Following the election, Clark sold autographed copies of the poster to eliminate his campaign debt.[6]

The poster has been referred to historically as being part of an arts advocacy campaign.[7] As of 2013, the image's photographer, Mike Ryerson, has retired from the Northwest Examiner (successor paper to The Northwest Neighbor),[8] and has become noted as an oral historian who leads walking tours of Northwest Portland in the neighborhoods where he and Clark documented, lived, and worked for most of their lives.[9]

Recreations[edit]

The slogan and poster have been parodied on several occasions. In 2011, Willamette Week published the article "Expose Yourself to Bikes", which included a cover image of a woman wearing an orange coat "flashing" a bike.[2]

Clark owned a sweatshirt that read "Expose yourself to retirement".[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Portland elects an art buff". Milwaukee Journal. May 20, 1984. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Waterhouse, Ben (May 25, 2011). "Expose Yourself to Bikes". Willamette Week (Portland, Oregon: City of Roses Newspapers). Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Har, Janie (June 16, 2010). "Former Portland Mayor Bud Clark auctions famous coat, other memories from longtime home". The Oregonian. Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Schrag, John; Dundas, Zach (March 9, 2005). "1984: This Bud's for You". Willamette Week (Portland, Oregon: City of Roses Newspapers). Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Portland winner whoops with joy". The Register-Guard. May 17, 1984. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  6. ^ >"Mayor-elect reveals new use of poster: campaign funding". The Register-Guard. June 15, 1984. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  7. ^ Reeve, Deborah B. (August 2009). "Cleansing the Palette". National Art Education Association. Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  8. ^ Hottman, Sarah (January 11, 2013). "Mike Ryerson Leaves The Northwest Examiner". [1]. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  9. ^ Hottman, Sarah (February 21, 2013). "Mike's History Tours guided by memory, research, and a life in Northwest Portland". [2]. Retrieved May 28, 2013.