‘Plasterman’ brought joy and light to so many, say friends in the street performer community. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Victoria’s adored living statue ‘Plasterman’ dies

Street performing community mourns ‘wonderful and kind’ man and artist

A beloved Victoria street performer has died at 57, according to friends in the industry.

Clark M. Clark – or as he was better known, ‘Plasterman,’ delighted locals and tourists alike with his stoic, all-white street character, a playful and unshakable figure in Victoria’s Lower Causeway and Inner Harbour for nearly 20 years.

“He gave out so much loving kindness to so many people,” said sitar player Christian Tatonetti. “I spent many, many, many hours next to him, watching people have such powerful reactions to him.”

The living statue went on the road too – Clark regularly appeared at the region’s street markets and festivals, a well-known staple of Victoria’s warm and welcoming tourism industry. But Clark wasn’t always Plasterman. He took on different characters including the all pink statue ‘Floyd,’ the cement statue ‘Dorian,’ the paint-splattered ‘Painter at rest’ and the coffee-hued ‘Mocha Joe.’

Clark M. Clark, known to most as the street performer ‘Plasterman’ has died. (Facebook/Clark M. Clark)

But he wasn’t just a great performer, said Claire Bezuidenhout, Victoria’s ‘Copper Cowgirl’ for the last 13 years. He was also a wonderful, kind person who loved the simple things, like coffee, yoga and travel.

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria artists, performances and behind-the scenes volunteers to be honoured

“He was just the loveliest person. His statue character was very kind, he always gave people hugs, and that’s exactly who he really was,” she said.

Plasterman was especially good with children, Bezuidenhout added. Although mostly mute while in character, he was able to bring out the warmth and laughter of the people around him.

“It’s kind of a special thing getting people to smile all day and giving them that joy,” she said. “I think everyone knows him. He’s a part of Victoria’s identity … I’m going to miss him so much.”

On his website, Clark explains the history of Plasterman, writing that a joke about a mannequin dressed in all-white being “plastered” led to the creation of his most well-known character. What started with white clothing, child’s costume makeup and a milk crate would evolve over time, until Clark was using fabric paint, corn starch – to reduce sheen of the paint – and a personalized Plasterman standing box.

“The character of Plasterman has taken me to many cities while enabling me to work in one of my favourite place on the planet – the Lower Causeway in the Inner Harbour of Victoria, B.C.” he wrote.

Gord Bestwick, a longtime friend, said Clark had the rare ability to hold onto “silliness.”

“He was never afraid to play,” Bestwick said. “Many people lose their capacity to be silly over the years. He managed to keep his ability to be not only creative, but enjoy life. Not just the finer details but the fine details of life.

“He was, quite simply, present and pleasant. He brought kindness with him. He was never harsh. I think the world is a slightly lesser place now that we’ve lost him.”

READ ALSO: Buskers delight crowds in downtown Victoria


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Tourism VictoriaVictoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Man who stole truck and canoe in View Royal believed he was fleeing zombies, court finds

Judge finds man not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder for 2019 thefts

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Electrical issue causes heavy smoke to billow from Oak Bay Avenue coffee shop

Victoria and Oak Bay fire crews responded to smoke at Victoria café

Former Victoria Royals manager celebrates Stanley Cup win

Grant Armstrong is now an amateur scout with Tampa Bay Lightning

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Survey finds doctors worry supplies of flu vaccine, PPE will lag demand

Canadian health officials have said additional flu vaccines have been ordered to meet expected demand

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Most Read