David Ohlerking: The World is His Studio by Beth Hauptle for Radius Magazine

Artist David Ohlerking is used to stirring things up when he opens his studio outdoors, on the street.

A few years back, in Chester, N.J., he was painting his now famous 15-minute portraits of passersby in front of a friend’s gallery. The women who run the local chamber of commerce there weren’t very happy about it.“They told me I couldn’t paint in front of my friend’s place,” recalls Ohlerking. “Something about it being illegal.”In Ocean City, N.J., he was issued a ticket and told to cease and desist.In Allentown, Pa., he was forced to shutdown, but later received an apology from the mayor and the chief of police. He reciprocated their gestures by sending them paintings of the buildings they work in.

“I always like it when somebody is mad at me for painting,” Ohlerking explained. “When an artist gets shutdown, it’s such a ridiculous thing.” 

Read more on Page 20.