David Deporis, Oakland, CA

This is a portrait of gifted songwriter and performer Dave Deporis who was prominent in the Oakland music scene as well as in NY music venues. He was robbed of his laptop and killed clinging to the robber’s car in 2017.

This installation is meant to both capture a moment in time as well as timelessness. Dave’s own song lyrics provided the symbolic images of his death including the body outline (painted on a vinyl fabric picture of the street where Dave was killed), ashes in the suitcase, and plywood door. These specific lyrics can be read on handout sheets on the floor along with an article about his career. Among these handouts are strewn California oak leaves, eucalyptus leaves (both also takeaways) and, from an aroma source, an ocean smell whch connects to places Dave lived in and loved. The laptop signifys the one stolen from him in his final moments with perhaps his last songs that tragically will never be known. The red car fender-like piece represents the cause of his death. The video and handouts are only accessed by walking around and into the art piece to view it and take the leaves, song lyrics and article sheets.

Music by Dave Deporis. Videos by Dave Deporis and Scott MacDonald. Editing by Kelly Craven. Article on Dave’s story by Peter Himmelman. See article online at:

Special Thanks to Stella Deporis for her guidance, support, and permisson to use her copyrighted material of Dave’s work.

Painted sheet metal, printed vinyl fabric, acrylic paint, distressed plywood, suitcase, laptop, ashes, letter paper with printed song lyrics, stones, California oak leaves, eucalyptus bark and leaves impregnated with eucalyptus oil, georgette fabric, pico projector, media player, cable, aroma diffuser, synthetic ocean aroma oil, various hardware. 50” x 72” x 80”

Anderson Ranch Connector Portrait 8-5-22
Group interactive portrait 2022

This is a participatory, interactive artpiece where audience members in separate 6ft. fabric modules are linked together as a group to activate a giant expandable costume: the Connector. The underlying social goal is to encourage safe re-connection with people, partcularly in groups, after the isolation of covid. The group must learn together how to navigate and play together and in the process evolve ad hoc social contracts to foster communication and group consensus. Attached bells are a haptic device used for expression and play. Connector can grow into an ever-larger linked single assembly by adding more modules or break out into smaller internallylinked groups. The individual unit portability allows them to be easily transported and used in any open space. This is a contemporary reinterpretation of Lygia Pape’s 1968 one-sheet group piece Divisor but Connector adds vital social aspects of safe distancing and resocialization plus its module assembly provides easy expandability.

Printed vinyl fabric sheets, 36” x 72”and 36” x 144” pieces, plastic rings, metal binder rings, assorted small metal bells, fiber-reinforced tape. Overall size variable.

Photos and video by Trey Broomfeld.

Chain of Thought: Portrait of Fascism

The chain can be pulled through all the heads to make an alarming, clattering sound.

Ceramic reinforced with epoxy and impregnated with synthetic gunpowder aroma oil, pewter paint, chains, various hardware. 12“ x 18” x 40” ”

Self-portrait 2019

Prrofiles of the Artist at different ages in different materials mounted on a log that has various materials related to the various ages. A pico-projector displays life events that were ridiculous displays of ego.

Wood log, pico projector, sheet metal. acrylic sheet, buckram fabric, alcohol inks, acrylic paints, various blades, staples, paper clips, various glues, condom, various hardware. 9” x 16” x 24”

Portrait of Ukraine
2021 Oil pastels, alcohol ink, paper. 14” x 17”
Chain of Thought
2019 Oil pastels, paper. 14” x 17”
2018 Self-portrait Graphite, colored pencil, charcoal, marker, paper 8 1/2” x 11”
Nightmares of a Bleeding Country
2020 Self-portrait Oil pastels, alcohol ink, thumbprint ink, paper. 20” x 24”
Bremner House Study
1999 Graphite, paper. 10” x 10”
Portrait of C
2021 Memorial portrait of those lost to addiction.

Attached to the antique clock body is a coin operating mechansm that starts when the pictured slug coin is inserted and creates a repetitve hammer sound.

Antique clock oak stock body and trim, cherry plywood legs and cherry stock trim, weathered circular saw blade, abraded tree saw blade, steel rod and base crank-slider guide, antique brass pendulum bob, cherry wood slide hammer, liquor bottles, coin operatng mechanism, 12V 10 rpm motor, 12V battery, aroma diffuser, clove oil, plastic tubing, wiring, electric cord, ceramic imprint of wolf-dog footprints from right-side begging motion, sneakers, stamped slug coin. 20“ x 40” x 70”

Pre-election Roadtrip, Bleeding Country
Interactive Self-portrait, 2020 - 2022

The spinning figure of the artist reflects his mind-spinning experiences from personal encounters with a wide spectrum of political hate and fear in a roadtrip across the western U.S. before the 2020 elections. To find a way to express the irrational, almost absurd extremes of these viewpoints led to a surreal, cartoonish styling derived from the San Francisco underground comic traditions of Last Gasp Comics.

Birch plywood panel , impregneted with synthetic gun powder aroma, whte, red, and blue acrylic paint, bullet and case cabinet pulls, red and blue alcohol inks, red and blue oil pastels, white, red, and blue markers, red and blue thumbprint ink, lazy susan hardware, various hardware. 3“ x 38” x 40”

Connector 2 Portrait
Group interactive portrait 2022

This is second in a series of Connector pieces as a participatory, interactive portrait piece that stimulates social contracts and communication. The individual modules are circular and use multiple hoola hoops as a frame with bells and LED lights attached. The outside 6 ft. diameter hoop maintains a safe covid-necessary 6 ft separation. The attached bells and LED lights further the opportunistic playmaking and nurture imaginaton.

Photos and video by D.D. Cain

My Multittudes
Interactive Self-portrait 2023

The title comes from Walt Whitman’s poem. Enclosed in a shadow box are multiple self-portrait faces on different media that can be tilted back and forth to recompose the portrait. There are also oil-infused eucalyptus leaves along wth oak leaves enclosed to connect to the landscape of the place where the artist lives.

Wood shadow box, paper, canvas, translucent and transparent plastic sheets, acrylic paint, oil pastels, markers, graphite, oak leaves, eucalyptus oil-infused leaves, lazy susan hardware. 2” x 17” x 21”

Covid on the Mind
2020 Interactive Self-portrait

Oil pastels, acrylic paint, markers, distressed wood
frame, wood handles, rope.
2“ x 16”-20” variable x 26” x 30” variable

Portrait of Ukraine Puzzle
Interactive Portrait of Ukraine 2023

Artwork printed vinyl pieces on black vinyl covered particle board. Puzzle pieces are various sizes.

A visitor can arrange the stick-on/peel-off vnyl pieces to compose their own view of a Portrait of Ukraine.

Social Practice
Wall Hanging
Wall Hanging
Group Performance
Wall Hanging
Wall Hanging
Wall Hanging