A Pole Art Poll: Love It Or Leave It


In these dying days of summer I’m taking it slow. Thoughts of heading back to school and shorter days make me melancholy but Pole Art rejuvenates me. Sprucing up dull utility poles, it’s ubiquitous nature has me finding new examples to showcase. Pole Art catches my eye adding a twinkle to it. There’s inspiration from humanity. Public Art worthy of display available for a head tilt. It doesn’t cost 20 bucks, requires no crowds to endure or squeaky floors. Been to the Portland Art Museum lately? I last documented Pole Art three years ago, if you can believe it. So l won’t delay any longer.

Hung Up Like a Moose Head

Not good enough for a wall?

I’m off to a bad start and yet seeing this frame affixed to a pole in the Kenton neighborhood was something I couldn’t resist. The siren call had me digging out the camera phone to demonstrate that anything can be affixed to a utility pole. This isn’t Pole Art, it’s decor but a resemblance to Pole Art is better than no art at all.

Pecking Away

Never call me Woody!

In the South Burlingame neighborhood this Pole Art recreates nature. You would mistake it for the real thing like I did at first glance. It’s crafty and well executed. It might be art for the birds. There are no bugs in those poles so a real woodpecker would be out of luck. This bird just gets to pose.

Sun Walk

Walk on sunshine.

This one caught me eye in Multnomah Village. I like the colors, the composition and the action. There was a point where I thought this was a homage to Michael Jackson but now I don’t see it. Michael Jackson would never have worn shoes like that unless he signed a shoe contract. It’s not even a moonwalk image so all my moonwalk jokes are obsolete.

Peck a Pepper?

Pepper up?

In the Alberta neighborhood, I stopped to take a picture of the type of Pole Art I appreciate the most. It’s simplistic yet visually creative in its use of two colors. The design is mysterious allowing my imagination to wonder.

It’s What You’re Offering

Rude buddha?

Sometimes Pole Art makes a statement. It’s easier when the art includes words. The message seems ironic when thinking about a zen master swearing. Then again how can you not get this message across without the f-bomb. Without this overused word this Pole Art might be too solemn. Pole Art is usually not funny. These days attempts at humor are always appreciated.

Half Hearted

Glad to see sad art.

Back in Alberta, a broken heart can manifest itself into Pole Art. I guessed it was a tribute to these sad times of pestilence and remorse but in small writing a message reads, “I Have A Father’s Broken Heart.” Despite the heart break the art brings the eye away from the collage of clutter that drapes some utility poles.

Sad Dad.

Dark Night

Good night kitty.

A night time photo of a dark subject matter from the Kerns neighborhood has its challenges. The outline of a silhouetted wolf head creates a mystical vibe that fades into the grime and shadows of its host utility pole.

Starry Sky

An art splatter platter.

This Pole Art offers a rich combination of multiple art movements, so many that I need to complete a correspondence course in art history just to be able to talk about it. It looks like layers of art have been applied to this pole. The effect adds a new dimension of artistic relevance if you’re willing to study it through the murk of a evening in the Sunnyside neighborhood.

Star Star

Striking Star Fish?

Is it store bought or hand made? For the most part, I’m just glad to see utility poles with any decorations. Am I going to get picky? Perhaps I should in the defense of Pole Art but I would rather see a purple star than stare at wood grain it covers. The effort to enliven the tedious landscape of modern infrastructure always perks me up. Vivid purples resurrects dead wood.

Splinter in the Eye

Any hamburgers to steal?

Okay it’s a given that graffiti isn’t Pole Art. I know the difference. Then again after looking at images of poles and Pole Art, I can’t help but include this image. This is a public service announcement to encourage the decoration of poles by any means necessary. At the risk of being reckless, I can’t help to think I’d rather look at anything other than regular old poles. At least this graffiti is spelled correctly and I dig that someone has a thing for Ronald McDonald’s arch nemesis.

Why, White Rose?

White rose, right rose?

Simple, elegant and an image that offers people to consider what it means to them. Yes, we’re back to decoration really, but it’s nice. A stapled white rose says a lot. It could mean anything but it means what you think it means. For me, Even something white and basic breaks up street monotony.

Street Stalker

Pole portrait pontification.

I saved the best for last. Spotted in the Kenton neighborhood, this Pole Art is basic, yet street regal. She’s wearing a fancy necklace. Perhaps it’s a portrait of a long ago denizen of the area. The design drew me it, rising above the broadsheets and flyers, not because it’s placed higher. The figure has pursed lips, an enigmatic smile, a curled coif and gentle, far away eyes. Pole Art has a low key presence but its anonymous nature puts the focus solely on the art.

There’s more pole art where this came from:

2 thoughts on “A Pole Art Poll: Love It Or Leave It

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