Hi, My name is Elliott. I was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mainly in Memphis and throughout Florida, studied Fine Art at the University of Memphis and Linguistics at Portland State University, and live in Portland, Oregon. I’m a classic vata-pitta, 4w3, wood tiger virgo-sagittarius-gemini INFP, I made a 466 on the MAT exam, I speak, read, and write Russian badly, my blood type is A+ (7 gallon donor), and I look like this— if any of that helps paint a picture. As a radical individualist, I share all this as a sort of joke at the expense of the idea that people should ever be put into categories. The only social media I’m interested in are Dialectic, Empathy, and Respect — Contact

I feel it’s a bad idea to use thumbnails to show art because it serves only to “inoculate” a viewer to the work, or makes easier for them to dismiss it and mindlessly scroll past. Many of the works here are fairly large oil paintings of considerable time and effort, with life-size figures, meant to be seen in person, not in a tableau  flying by in a fraction of a second on a small screen. I fear one day we will all suddenly awake in horror, only to realize our whole life has been lived this way, now at an end, where we had consumed it completely without realizing that the entire time we had been doing nothing more than gazing into a snowglobe.

The weblog is my personal journal of achievement or interests and is a living document, so I may from time to time change or delete the content here. You’ll be relieved to know that I don’t expect anyone to actually read any of this.

Selected Works


151, 2019-04, …um den Zufall am Schopf zu fassen!, oil on canvas, 82 x 90″ (208 x 228cm)

150, 2018-12, ANIMVS·SVMMISSVS [post], oil on linen (installation), 60 x 90″ (152 x 228cm)

149, 2018-12, There is one story and one story only., oil on linen, 60 x 90″ (152 x 228cm)

148, 2019-08, Earth vs. Space, oil on linen, 60 x 90″ (152 x 228cm)

147, 2018-08, Begjær… og Seterjentene (Lust), oil on linen, 82 x 90″ (208 x 228cm)

136, 2018-01, Montagne d’Or (der Gute Berg), oil on linen, 60 x 90″ (152 x 228cm)

135, 2017-11, Concerning the heavy-handed use of symbols., oil on linen, 60 x 90″ (152 x 228cm)

123, 2017-03, Helping people to achieve their potentialities., oil on linen, 60 x 90″ (152 x 228cm)

122, 2017-02, я иду с мечем, судия, oil on linen, 60 x 90″ (152 x 228cm)

121, 2017-01, Alles ist Schoen, oil on linen, 60 x 90″ (152 x 228cm)

120, 2016-05, Блис Белай, oil on linen, 60 x 90″ (152 x 228cm)

88, 2009-09, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, oil on linen, 58 x 90″ (148 x 228cm)


152, 2020-01, OOBE (Le Rêve— Temple of Artemis, Song of the Sleeping Forest, Symbol of Life, Love, and Aesthetics) [unfinished], oil on linen, 60 x 90″ (152 x 228cm)

154, 2020-05, L’Apocalypse des Animaux [unfinished], oil on linen, 82 x 90″ (208 x 228cm)

155, 2020-06, Black Hula (Satellite Serenade/Brightness Hiding) [unfinished], oil on linen, 82 x 90″ (208 x 228cm)

156, Now is the best time of your life


132, 2017-11, Island, oil on panel, 24 x 36″ (detail)

130, 2017-07, La Victoria, oil on panel, 27 x 40″ (detail)

126, 2017-04, Electrum, oil on panel, 16 x 22″ (detail)

125, 2017-04, Nothing, oil on panel, 20 x 30″ (detail)

124, 2017-01, 1960’s Institutional Turquoise, oil on panel, 20 x 26″

111, 2012-01, Violet, oil on panel, 16 x 20″

105, 2010-11, Lyre Plyre, oil on panel, 17.5 x 23.5″

101, 2010-04, Heidi, oil on panel, 18 x 24″

99, 2010-04, Marianna, graphite on paper, 16 x 20″

97, 2009-12, Present, oil on panel, 56 x 42″ (detail)

93, 2009-10, Julia, oil on panel, 20 x 30″

92, 2009-10, Vanitas, oil on panel, 18 x 20″

83, 2008-11, Evening star, oil on panel, 30 x 56″

77, 2008-05, The Cure Within, oil on panel, 14 x 20″

76, 2008-05, Rachel Cupo, oil on panel, 24 x 30″ (detail)

71, 2008-03, Vulcan berimbau, oil on panel, 19 x 40″

67, 2007-12, Belle, oil on panel, 18 x 24″

63, 2007-08, Artemis, oil on panel, 60 x 60″ (detail)

62, 2007-05, This kingdom by the sea, oil on panel, 18 x 18″

61, 2007-05, Montagne d’Or, oil on panel, 14 x 22″

59, 2007-03, My Rosy Monique, oil on panel, 16 x 20″

58, 2007-03, Eurydice, oil on panel, 40 x 37″

57, 2007-02, Pink snow, oil on panel, 44 x 42″

53, 2006-04, Khloris, oil on panel, 36 x 60″

49, 2005-07, Chinese box, oil on panel, 24 x 48″

46, 2004-10, Where the moon goes, oil on panel, 18 x 24″

45, 2004-09, Double flowering plum, oil on panel, 17 x 23″

17, 2001-10, Ruth, oil on panel, 18 x 24″ (detail)

3, 1998-03, Rachel, oil on panel, 18 x 24″

2, 1998-03, Elizabeth S., oil on panel, 18 x 24″


Audio Tour: RETOUR [post], 2023, binaural museum tour and guided visualization

Audio Tour: Souvenir [post], 2022, binaural museum tour and guided visualization

Custom Binaural Microphone Chassis, 2022, industrial design

ANIMVS·SVMMISSVS [post], 2018, installation

Custom 50L6 Valve State Amplifiers [post], 2015 – 2019, prototype chassis art, industrial design, and electronics for CoffmanLabs

The Great Clock of Time [post], 2013, album art and dub plate design for Kris Weston


Educator-Lecturer, 2018, lecture series, “Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Draftsmanship”, The People’s Colloquium, Portland, OR

Artist-in-Residence, 2009 – 2010, 2016 – 2017, Splendorporium, Portland, OR

Artist-in-Residence, 1996, 1997, Overton High for Creative and Performing Arts, Memphis, TN

University of Memphis, 1993 – 1995, 4-year Fine Art Merit Scholarship

1992 Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, MTSU

Selected Exhibitions

July 2020, Untitled Enthymeme, solo show, CHAOS Gallery, Portland, OR

May 2019, Unicorn, solo show, CHAOS Gallery, Portland

December 2018, Encyclical, group show, Elisabeth Jones Art Center, Portland

August 2018, The Seven Deadly Sins, group show, Splendorporium, Portland

November 2017, Self Care, group show, Ford Gallery, Portland.

October 2017, Value Test I, solo show, Portland.

July 2012, obj≠ction — Gender, Sex, Law, and Social Change, group show, Lewis & Clark College, Portland.

December 2010, Insolitus: Suda, Cifuentes, Wall, Skotia Gallery, Santa Fe, NM.

July 2010, Naked, group show, Skotia Gallery, Santa Fe.

June 2010, Elliott Wall, solo show, Splendorporium, Portland.

June 2010, Two of a Kind, group show, Froelick Gallery, Portland.

February 2010, Erotic Art, group show, Beet gallery, Portland.

September 2009, Elliott Wall and Andy Paiko, group show, Splendorporium, Portland.

August 2006 – June 2009, (Various), Manette Gallery, Portland.

December 2008, Puddletown, group show, Compound Gallery, Portland.

May 2008, Buckwheat & Grits, solo show, Carr Gallery, Idaho Falls, ID.

June 2006, Alien, group show, Mark Woolley Gallery, Portland.

October 2005, Eyes Follow You, solo show, Concrete, Portland.

July 2005, Taste, group show, Thomson-Peterson, San Francisco, CA.

January 2005, Something of Our Common Feeling, group show, Delta Axis, Memphis, TN.

November 1998, Jean-Luc Godard, group show, Hideaway, Memphis.

May 1998, solo show, Edge Gallery, Memphis.

September 1994, group show, University of Memphis Gallery.


Art exhibit ‘Unicorn’ goes big with exciting countercultural themes by Jeffrey Gillespie, Oregonian, May 2016

Vous n’aurez pas la peau de Maman Küsters by Rod Glacial, mention, Vice Magazine (France), March 2016

Insolitus: Suda/Cifuentes/Wall by Richard Tobin, THE Magazine, p.48, February 2011

People are Strange by Casey Sanchez, Pasatiempo, p.42, December 17, 2010

The Oregonian, Rebel Galleries, A&E, April 27, 2007.

The Oregonian, Artwalk feature, March 2007.

Portland Monthly, On the Town, p.233, October 2005.

Commercial Appeal, A splash of great painting by Fredric Koeppel, January 21, 2005.

Facing It: Nine artists explore human expression by Carol Knowles, Memphis Flyer, February 18, 2005.


Maman Küsters, Happy Meal, (vinyl), album art, June 2023

Maman Küsters, Alice de Lewis Glisse, album art, April 2020

Maman Küsters, L’Extase Et La Terreur, (vinyl), album art, April 2020

Lackluster (Esa Ruoho), Spoo/Something Bothersome, album art, April 2020

Lackluster (Esa Ruoho), Catch23​/​Kosmos9, album art, March 2020

Lackluster (Esa Ruoho), Ubiquity: Bolivian Angel Remix, album art, February 2020

Maman Küsters, Cherche Querelle, album art, December 2019

Holly Andres, commission, seven 82 x 90″ painted backdrops for photoshoot, May 2018

Dale Cooper Quartet & The Dictaphones: «[We try to bring humor into the darkness]», Rolling Stone Russia, Metamanoir, album art bandcamp embed, November 2017

Maman Küsters, Sous La Peau De Maman Küsters, album art, 2016

Holly Andres, commission, painted backdrop for photoshoot, December 2013

Dale Cooper Quartet & The Dictaphones, Metamanoir, album art, 2011

Themes and Foundations of Art (ISBN 0538429739) by Elizabeth Katz, pp. 357, 370, 1995.

Kind Words

“…An abundance of lush imagery that draws upon multiple themes, from Aristotelian philosophy to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The paintings are painstakingly produced and filled with a technical excellence that does not rely on creative cliches. The artist riffs on themes of occultism, eroticism and sacred geometry in a show that is exciting and countercultural. […] Wall’s artwork is carnal, lyrical, original and uplifting. His subject matter is in distinct contrast to that of some of the safer art venues around town… it’s well worth a visit if your aesthetic interests expand beyond the traditional.”

from Art exhibit ‘Unicorn’ goes big with exciting countercultural themes by Jeffrey Gillespie, The Oregonian, May 20, 2019

“The wild card of the bunch is Elliott Wall…. His standout piece in the Insolitus show is Lyre Plyre… [he] twists the woman’s locks into an up-do that is part Cleopatra and part 1920s flapper encased in a baroque glass frame – so ersatz rococo it would be at home in a Tijuana watering hole or at least a self-consciously hip dive bar.”

from People are Strange by Casey Sanchez, Pasatiempo, December 17, 2010

“Wall follows the nineteenth century convention for figure studies involving a nude female, in which the model is portrayed as the guise of some classical goddess or mythic maiden…. The challenge to realist painting from photography, dating from the late nineteenth century, fades today in comparison with the mimetic capacity of digital technology to create and manipulate high-definition, 3-D imagery.  Perhaps the only effective response can be found in the work on view in Insolitus, one which is marked, in the approach of all three artists, by an overriding sense of creative control and an underlying concern for poetic import.”

from Insolitus: Suda/Cifuentes/Wall by Richard Tobin, THE Magazine, February 2011

“…Portland, Oregon, artist Elliott Wall’s No One Wants To See This explores sexuality and mortality with postmodern appropriation and esoteric references… a complex and provocative work.”

from Nine Artists Explore Human Expression by Carol Knowles, The Memphis Flyer, February 18, 2005

“Skill comes into play in a fashion that reaches for the sublime… The ambiguous conjunction of elements here is unsettling in its marriage of allure, eroticism, religion and incantation, all the more so because Wall’s technical agility… is utterly frictionless, almost luxurious.”

from A Splash of Great Painting by Fredric Koeppel, Commercial Appeal, January 21, 2005

Little Bird: “Which emerging artist do you think more people should know about?”

Andy Paiko: “Elliot Wall, A Portland, OR painter and evil genius.”

[To contextualize this amazing remark, he is only pointing out the very true fact that “evil” is a relative term, and that I am simply not as virtuous or excellent as he is— EW]

Join me in disabling all web analytics

I don’t use Google Analytics, social media, or any other kind of spyware on this site. (and no js is necessary) I hope you will join me in resisting social media, advertising, marketing, surveillance, and other kinds of techniques used to undermine human dignity. Consider using Firefox with NoScript or some similar plugin, as well as common sense conservation of privacy measures.

Statement of Purpose

We live in a wish-fulfillment society and are all drowning in beauty, yet generally we are all possibly more demoralized than ever. Beauty, and pleasure, at least as we now understand them, are clearly not ultimately satisfying. Art, therefore, should be edifying. If it isn’t, then it only attends to the current sensibilities of the audience and is proportionally only craft. The criteria for success with craft is well understood, but there seems little point in making Art which the viewer already fully accepts. The more artistic a work, the more inscrutable, and the more an education it can be. Beauty is being studied scientifically, and will also soon be well understood, and beautiful things are at all times being created almost totally programmatically through technique alone, which is to say, as a craft. We’re extremely susceptible to beautiful forms of any kind, but it begins to feel vacuous and predictable, as just another pretty face or pretty painting. Then some artists try to ugly things up to relieve the boredom; and surrealism depends on the viewer having a rather normal, sane view of reality to scandalize— but it’s rather unambitious, seeking merely to scandalize normal, sane people. For now I’ve settled on making art that is beautiful, crafty, or good enough for our purposes, preferring to establish instead a technique of thinking and of living life, portraits of ideas of how to Be.

2BOB Radio, Lost and Found Sounds

My audio tour “Souvenir” was just featured on Lost and Found Sounds, experimental music on 2BOB FM 104.7FM Radio, Sydney, Australia. Hamish, the host, calls the album “astonishing”… I never sent him a promo, and I had never known him or the show until now. So it would be wildly understating it to say that I’m absolutely blown away and humbled that someone appreciates my efforts and is willing to broadcast over ~5 kilowatts. Thank you, Hamish!

(Souvenir excerpt begins at roughly 8m 40s)

Audio Tour Full Text: Ancilla — RETOUR, Resources

Annotations for RETOUR

1. Bertrand Russell, Nobel Lecture

All human activity is prompted by desire. There is a wholly fallacious theory advanced by some earnest moralists to the effect that it is possible to resist desire in the interests of duty and moral principle. I say this is fallacious, not because no man ever acts from a sense of duty, but because duty has no hold on him unless he desires to be dutiful. If you wish to know what men will do, you must know not only, or principally, their material circumstances, but rather the whole system of their desires with their relative strengths.

2. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Reveries of The Solitary Walker, Fifth Walk

My morning exercise and the good temper which is inseparable from it made the pause for lunch very enjoyable. But when it took too long and good weather beckoned, I could not wait so long.

While they were still at the table, I would slip away and go throw myself alone into a boat that I rowed to the middle of the lake when the water was calm; and there, stretching myself out full-length in the boat, my eyes turned to heaven, I let myself slowly drift back and forth with the water, sometimes for several hours, plunged in a thousand confused, but delightful, reveries which, even without having any well-determined or constant object, were in my opinion a hundred times preferable to the sweetest things I had found in what are called the pleasures of life. Often, warned by the setting of the sun that it was the hour of retreat, I would find myself so far from the island that I was forced to work with all my might to get back before nightfall.


In the vicissitudes of a long life, I have noticed that the periods of sweetest enjoyment and most intense pleasures are, nevertheless, not those whose recollection most attracts and touches me.

Those short moments of delirium and passion, however intense they might be, are, even with their intensity, still only scattered points along the path of life. They are too rare and too rapid to constitute a state of being; and the happiness for which my heart longs is in no way made up of fleeting instants, but rather a simple and permanent state which has nothing intense in itself but whose duration increases its charm to the point that I finally find supreme felicity in it.

Everything is in continual flux on earth. Nothing on it retains a constant and static form, and our affections, which are attached to external things, necessarily pass away and change as they do.

Always ahead of or behind us, they recall the past which is no longer or foretell the future which often is in no way to be: there is nothing solid there to which the heart might attach itself. Thus, here-below we have hardly anything but transitory pleasure. As for happiness which lasts, I doubt that it is known here, in our most intense enjoyments, there is hardly an instant when the heart can truly say to us: I would like this instant to last forever. And how can we call happiness a fleeting state which leaves our heart still worried and empty, which makes us long for something beforehand or desire something else afterward?

But if there is a state in which the soul finds a solid enough base to rest itself on entirely and to gather its whole being into, without needing to recall the past or encroach upon the future; in which time is nothing for it; in which the present lasts forever without, however, making its duration noticed and without any trace of time’s passage; without any other sentiment of deprivation or of enjoyment, pleasure or pain, desire or fear, except that alone of our existence, and having this sentiment alone fill it completely; as long as this state lasts, he who finds himself in it can call himself happy, not with an imperfect, poor, and relative happiness such as one finds in the pleasures of life, but with a sufficient, perfect, and full happiness which leaves in the soul no emptiness it might feel a need to fill. Such is the state in which I often found myself during my solitary reveries on St. Peter’s Island, either lying in my boat as I let it drift with the water or seated on the banks of the tossing lake; or elsewhere, at the edge of a beautiful river or of a brook murmuring over pebbles.

What do we enjoy in such a situation? Nothing external to ourselves, nothing if not ourselves and our own existence. As long as this state lasts, we are sufficient unto ourselves, like God. The sentiment of existence, stripped of any other emotion, is in itself a precious sentiment of contentment and of peace which alone would suffice to make this existence dear and sweet to anyone able to spurn all the sensual and earthly impressions which incessantly come to distract us from it and to trouble its sweetness here-below.

3. Thomas Nagel, What Is It Like to Be a Bat?

(Continue reading…) “Audio Tour Full Text: Ancilla — RETOUR, Resources”

Audio Tour Full Text: Ancilla — Souvenir, Sources

Annotations for Souvenir

1. Aristotle, De Anima. 430a10–430a26: 

Since in every class of things, as in nature as a whole, we find two factors involved, (1) a matter which is potentially all the particulars included in the class, (2) a cause which is productive in the sense that it makes them all (the latter standing to the former, as e.g. an art to its material), these distinct elements must likewise be found within the soul. 

And in fact, mind as we have described it, is what it is by virtue of becoming all things, while there is another which is what it is by virtue of making all things: this is a sort of positive state like light; for in a sense light makes potential colours into actual colours. Mind in this sense of it is separable, impassible, unmixed, since it is in its essential nature activity (for always the active is superior to the passive factor, the originating force to the matter which it forms). 

Actual knowledge is identical with its object: in the individual, potential knowledge is in time prior to actual knowledge, but in the universe as a whole it is not prior even in time. Mind is not at one time knowing and at another not. When mind is set free from its present conditions it appears as just what it is and nothing more: this alone is immortal and eternal (we do not, however, remember its former activity because, while mind in this sense is impassible, mind as passive is destructible), and without it nothing thinks.”

2. John Ruskin, The Two Paths — Lecture II, The Unity of Art: 

Our enjoyment arose from a weakness meeting a weakness, from a partiality in the painter fitting to a partiality in us, and giving us sugar when we wanted sugar, and myrrh when we wanted myrrh; but sugar and myrrh are not meat: and when we want meat and bread, we must go to better men.”

3. John Ruskin, Lectures on Art and Painting — Lecture IV, Pre-Raphaelitism: 

…it is not so much in buying pictures, as in being pictures, that you can encourage a noble school. The best patronage of art is not that which seeks for the pleasures of sentiment in a vague ideality, nor for beauty of form in a marble image; but that which educates your children into living heroes, and binds down the flights and the fondnesses of the heart into practical duty and faithful devotion.

4. Aristotle, De Anima. 429b22–430a9: 

The problem might be suggested: if thinking is a passive affection, then if mind is simple and impassible and has nothing in common with anything else, as Anaxagoras says, how can it come to think at all? For interaction between two factors is held to require a precedent community of nature between the factors. Again it might be asked, is mind a possible object of thought to itself? For if mind is thinkable per se and what is thinkable is in kind one and the same, then either (a) mind will belong to everything, or (b) mind will contain some element common to it with all other realities which makes them all thinkable. 

(1) Have not we already disposed of the difficulty about interaction involving a common element, when we said that mind is in a sense potentially whatever is thinkable, though actually it is nothing until it has thought? What it thinks must be in it just as characters may be said to be on a writing tablet on which as yet nothing actually stands written: this is exactly what happens with mind. 

(2) Mind is itself thinkable in exactly the same way as its objects are. For (a) in the case of objects which involve no matter, what thinks and what is thought are identical; for speculative knowledge and its object are identical. (Why mind is not always thinking we must consider later.) (b) In the case of those which contain matter each of the objects of thought is only potentially present. It follows that while they will not have mind in them (for mind is a potentiality of them only insofar as they are capable of being disengaged from matter) mind may yet be thinkable.

5. Isaac Newton, Letter to Robert Hooke, 15 February, 1676: 

I have not been able to discover the cause of those properties of gravity from phenomena, and I frame no hypotheses; for whatever is not deduced from the phenomena is to be called a hypothesis, and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, whether of occult qualities or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy.

6. Novalis, Fichte Studies, 373: 

When I ask what a thing is, I am asking about its representation and intuition— I am wondering only about myself.

7. John Ruskin, The Two Paths — Lecture II, Influence of Imagination in Architecture: 

If we see an old woman spinning at the fireside, and distributing her thread dexterously from the distaff, we respect her for her manipulation—if we ask her how much she expects to make in a year, and she answers quickly, we respect her for her calculation—if she is watching at the same time that none of her grandchildren fall into the fire, we respect her for her observation—yet for all this she may still be a commonplace old woman enough. But if she is all the time telling her grandchildren a fairy tale out of her head, we praise her for her imagination, and say, she must be a rather remarkable old woman. Precisely in like manner, if an architect does his working-drawing well, we praise him for his manipulation—if he keeps closely within his contract, we praise him for his honest arithmetic—if he looks well to the laying of his beams, so that nobody shall drop through the floor, we praise him for his observation. But he must, somehow, tell us a fairy tale out of his head beside all this, else we cannot praise him for his imagination, nor speak of him as we did of the old woman.

8. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations Book X, Chapter 21: 

Earth loves the rain, the proud sky loves to give it. The whole world loves to create futurity. I say then to the world, ‘I share your love.’ Is this not the source of the phrase, ‘This loves to happen?’