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January 31, 2017

Expose Yourself to Art (1979)

This photograph was taken by Mike Ryerson in 1978, then a staff member at The Northwest Neighbor and portrays then-founder of The Northwest Neighbor and future Portland mayor Bud Clark seemingly exposing himself to a bronze statue of a nude woman. Clark appeared to be wearing only a raincoat, but it was later revealed that he was wearing shorts and a T-shirt under his raincoat.

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”. 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.

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


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