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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cyclepath Bike Shop co-owner Bill Larson pointing out a detail
in one of Tiago DeJerk’s paintings.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Cyclepath Bike Shop in Northeast Portland is known for stocking custom, high-end bikes that could easily pass for rolling works of art. Now, sharing space in the showroom among $6,000 bicycles, are four large-scale stencil paintings by Portland artist Tiago DeJerk.
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The paintings were commissioned by Cyclepath co-owner Joshua Hutchens and were unveiled at a party at the shop Friday night.

All four of the pieces were painted on reclaimed wood (three of them use old wooden doors) and were done in the unmistakable style that DeJerk is fast becoming known for. (If they look familiar that’s because I wrote about a mural painted by DeJerk on the walls of my office back in October).

The paintings range from abstract repesentations of bike parts to stylized images based on actual photographs. Team Cyclepath rider Patrick Wilder sloshes through mud in one of the pieces, and over the shop’s front counter Hutchens himself is featured. An uninterrupted bike-chain motif ties the paintings together.

Hutchens first met the DeJerk at BikeCraft, a bike-themed gift bazaar where DeJerk sold some of his smaller works last November. That night, Hutchens says “I went to buy a few of his paintings, but they were already sold. I asked if he’d consider doing something larger for me and it led to this.”

With fond memories of painted murals in other shops he’d work in — in Moab, Utah and Grand Junction, Colorado — Hutchens said he wanted to bring “something big” into the shop.

In the weeks that followed their initial conversation, DeJerk visited the shop (on MLK at Brazee) to get a sense of the space and he looked over photographs to use as a basis for the paintings. The result is four inspired works that are sure to garner DeJerk even more attention in his fledgling art career.

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At the opening night party.
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Artist Tiago DeJerk

DeJerk got his start in Portland’s bike scene as a clown who performed with the Alberta Street Clownhouse. His first medium was self-expression, makeup, and building tall-bikes. That led to oil painting and printmaking, which he displayed at the Last Thursday artwalk on Alberta two years ago.

Up next for DeJerk is a series of promotional pieces for Black Sheep Bakery in Southeast Portland (yes, the one with the bike-thru window), and he’ll be the official artist for the upcoming, weeklong Pedalpalooza festival in June.

Also in June, DeJerk will embark on a book tour for Stencil Nation, a new book (due out June 1) in which he serves as one of three artists representing the Pacific Northwest region.

As for his works at Cyclepath, Hutchens says they’ve been a huge hit. “Everybody wants to know who did them and where we found the guy.”


– For more photos of the paintings and the opening night party at Cyclepath, click here.

– Stop by Cyclepath Bike Shop: They’re located at 2436 NE. MLK Jr. Blvd. in Portland.

– To contact Mr. DeJerk, email info[at]dejerk[dot]com and stay tuned to

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