The 100 # 99 – going


This is the original image of #1 of ‘The 100series. Sprayed onto a particularly uninspiring example of city architecture in East Vancouver this single word “going” attracted me because of its carefully inscribed Grade 6 style of writing, so different from most urban wall graffiti. Its simple one word power of mystery, poetic evocation and pathos enchanted me.

I considered the obvious, that this was the beginning so it should also be the end. However, I am placing it at #99,  just before the cycle finishes, because I need to contradict the obvious.


I have made some changes to the image and use it here as the penultimate #99. I cropped and added text to the photo creating a poem of sorts, or perhaps more realistically, a primitive chant, of leaving, of departure…The illuminated ‘One’ was unintentional but when it happened it gave me pause…despite our going and separation we are still one, always one, here together…

going gone

going gone


going going


going gone

gone going

gone going


going going


the song of the sailor raising the sails,

the drums of the warriors leaving forever,

the pounding heart of the  refugee,

the hurt voice of lovers

walking away,

the boots of the restless

embracing the highway,

the cry of the imprisoned

as iron doors crash close,

the breath of the dying

on their final beds of light,

time, seasons, love,



Photo and poem by clinock.

Credit and thanks to the unknown street writer.

May The Fourth Be With You…again

May the Fourth

Looking, but not seeing

this leaping spring,

observed in surreal intensity

by the world

in your museum,

an incongruous anachronism

frozen in place and time,

stuffed stiff with allegiance

to moss covered empires,

your Freudian

hat and gun stand to,

but not with,


while across the street

cherry blossoms bloom

and all the human tribes

sing for peace.

Heroic statue, on guard

for the forgotten,

May The Fourth Be With You.

Redux from 2013.

Poem and photo by clinock.

Vancouver street art by unknown stencil artist and taggers, with thanks.

let’s face it #3. part 2.


More Faces from the walls and sidewalks of Italy, Mexico and my home city of Vancouver.

Spray paintings, stencils and murals…all a modern 2D equivalent of the 3D Faces shown in posts #1 and #2.


The street artist reflects our faces and senses and how we interact with, or shut-out, our surroundings.

demos van

But the art or the reality of the face is always subject to the vagaries of time, weather and memory,

Mex mural 2

and together we face it, this strange life, through the senses that our eyes, nose, mouth and ears create.

Who sees the True Face

beyond the mask?

The mother, the babe, the lover?

Or none, ever?

not even the mirrored owner

who’s face has been

a relentless reflection

since birth.


Not even partners for life

or identical twins

reading each others mind

and knowing every line

of the others skin.

Not even the saint

who believes she has seen

the face of God.


The True Face is as veiled

as the True Name

and slumbers so deep

in the living essence

that it is only seen

clearly by the dying,

or in crystal visions

of the insane.

poem and photos by clinock.

Sincere thanks and credit to all the unknown artists represented here.

let’s face it #3. part 1.

Mex mural 3

Faces from the walls and sidewalks of Italy, Mexico and my home city of Vancouver. Spray paintings, stencils and murals…all a modern 2D equivalent of the 3D Faces shown in previous posts.

Road face

Some may be perceived as graffiti, some as street art and some as verging on fine art, but all are expressions of the artist’s fascination with the Face.

St kids

The face is ubiquitous in our urban environment, whether it be the living faces of people we brush against every moment as we move through our day or the static faces of the art of the street.


When we tentatively look into the face of the creased and mumbling old man on the bus, the beautiful young woman on the Sky Train or the spray painted features on the alley wall, we are entering an ancient ritual of human recognition of each other.

Mex mural 1

We silently ask, “Who are you my friend, behind the mask you wear?” And we ask, if only subconsciously, “What do the faces on this wall say about me and us and about the existential predicament we all find ourselves in?”

all photos by clinock

Sincere thanks and credit to all the unknown artists represented here.

let’s face it #2.

carved Mex face

The art of the Face in Mexico, on doors and walls, is not quite as intimidating as those in my previous posting from Italy. Most Mexican street faces are mellow, even friendly.  Obviously the culture and history is different although both are strong Catholic countries with shared religious beliefs. I’m uncertain how to explain the contrast in the expressions – any ideas?

door imp face

I love this little door elf, (or duende in Spanish), from San Miguel de Allende.

face knocker

And here is a noble knocker from the same city!

wall totem Oaxaca

This Oaxaca wall totem tries to induce fear but fails with an ancient humour.

Oaxaca wall face

Whereas this lintel demon from the same city succeeds quite well – perhaps it’s an Italian import?

I’m not an intrepid world traveler or educated in social anthropology but I have visited enough countries to know that some, usually more ancient cultures, have embellished their urban and domestic architecture with these sculpted faces invoked from realms of imagination and the past. I feel very much at home as I walk dusty, cobbled streets in the company of grotesque beings peering at me from walls and doors. I miss this here in prosaic Canada where the stencil, mural or graffiti face is the equivalent visual expression.

all photos by clinock

let’s face it #1.

face italy 2

The Face, the first sight we see after birth and forever after it becomes our default image. In clouds, the bark of trees and in the flames in the fireplace we see faces before anything else.

face Italy 1

I am very far indeed from being a portrait painter but faces have a way of insinuating themselves into my work, haunting faces from dreams and strange faces of people and beings I have never met but who obviously make their home somewhere inside of me. I’ve been looking at and thinking about faces a lot recently – sculpted and painted faces in art, the faces of citizens I rub shoulders with daily on the street, in stores and on public transit and the faces of my blogging community over there in the side-bar (no doubt quaffing a few while they wait) :). How can the faces of we millions all be so different – no two the same – unnumbered variations on a single theme? I am flummoxed and delighted by this mystery.

face Italy 4

The posted images are some of many I photographed in Italy where sculpted faces emerge in low and high relief from doors, walls, fountains and statuary in every ancient street and piazza. Most often these faces express anger, agony or dark emotion – always, it seems, with mouths agape.

face italy 3

What directive do you imagine the commissioned artist received that resulted in such fearful symmetry?

all photos by clinock

‘The 100′ #89 – Here Comes…


Above is one panel from a recent installation at Vancouver’s Waterfront Station. This is another conceptual piece in Vancouver Transit’s Public Art Program. The information plaque from the installation is below and will tell you all you need to know.

here comes info

The overall installation looks like this…

here comes installation

Except for the information plaque the above photographs are used with thanks to

The plaque and the photos that follow are taken by me. I apologize for the poor quality but wanted to show some other examples of the installed panels to give you a wider idea of the concept:


Who knew so many songs began with “Here comes…”


I found this a much lighter work than “Warning” (The 100′ #86) and reminiscent of Departure and Arrival boards at rail stations and airports. You may wonder, as I did, how this qualifies, for the Capture Fest, as photography. If so, I suggest going to the ‘Capture’ web site shown above.

What do you think?

‘The 100′ series was initiated by my 100th Post in April 2012. As text and images are the essence of my blog my intention is to present 100 pieces of text based art from historical and contemporary artists and from my own hand. To view the series to date click on ‘The 100’ in my Category Menu.

The ‘100’ #86 – WARNING


This recent addition to the Vancouver Transit Art Installation series captured my eye and brain when I was downtown yesterday.  It is one of a series of conceptual artworks by Antoni Muntadas hosted by the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG).

I encourage you to do so, but you may or may not choose to read the VAG’s writings by Ms. Campbell (below) about this artist and his work; however, when you looked at these photos you probably had some form of personal insight or understanding as to the installation’s meaning.

As with almost all public art, most people passing by do not perceive the work except on the fringes of consciousness. Most of us skim the surface of our world like water-skeeters, quickly and efficiently but never actually submerging. However, when true perception happens then participation or involvement must follow. After I took the photos, Muntadas’ words stayed with me all day and I was reminded that once we open our eyes /hearts / minds and see what is really going on in any aspects of our personal, social or political lives we can’t help but be involved, below the surface and deeper.

I’d be very interested in your own interpretation of ‘WARNING‘…

The following information* is from the VAG and I give them full credit.

The photo of ‘WARNING’ above is by clinock / the photo below is by Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery, and I thank her for it.


Warning, 1999-2013
installation at the Vancouver City Centre Canada Line Station
vinyl on glass
Courtesy of the Artist © Muntadas/SODRAC (2013)

*Muntadas by Arabella Campbell
On Translation: Warning

A pioneer in the fields of conceptual and media art, Antoni Muntadas’ practice includes performance, video, photography, multimedia installations, publications, web-based projects and public art. Incorporating in-depth research and astute readings of cultural situations, his incisive works have addressed ideas such as the relationship between public and private, the role of the media in transmitting ideas, and the complex dynamics of architecture and other social frameworks.

Translation and its many implications is the central theme of Muntadas’ ongoing On Translation series, started in 1995 that comprises works created in a variety of political cultural and economic contexts. These works consider the interpretation of words, concepts, histories and values not only across different languages, but also through the invisible conventions inherent in all forms of communication. On Translation: Warning is a series that calls into question the manipulation of information and encourages audiences to participate in the decoding process. These works have been installed around the world and their common thread is the sentence “Warning: Perception Requires Involvement,” which the artist has translated into local languages and displayed using such supports as posters, stickers, press inserts, building façades, windows and other public spaces.

This presentation is part of a larger exhibition of the artist’s work, Muntadas: Entre/Between, on view at the Vancouver Art Gallery from November 9, 2013 until February 10, 2014.

‘The 100′ series was initiated by my 100th Post in April 2012. As text and images are the essence of my blog my intention is to present 100 pieces of text-based art from historical and contemporary artists and from my own hand. To view the series to date click on ‘The 100’ in my Category Menu.


September Mask

September face

torn by autumn

up against the wall,

and the fall is long.


across the street

trees dance in glory

and radiant romance.


his feet are frozen,

rooted and bare,

layered in mud.


can’t go back,

unable to proceed.

seeds become sterile.


painted by the season

his September face

is a wasted mask.


poem and photo by clinock. image by unknown poster artist.