Kevin Griffin, The Vancouver Sun

Well, exactly 40 years ago, a real nut ran for mayor. His name was Mr. Peanut. To mark the anniversary of his campaign, Berlin-based artist Vincent Trasov, the man who performed as Mr. Peanut, is back for a one-day only pop-op exhibition Saturday on the day of the Vancouver civic election.

Many consider Mr. Peanut to have been an ideal candidate because he didn’t utter a word during or even after his campaign. All the talking was left to his manager John Mitchell who had some great lines, including:

“The mayoralty election is something everyone is concerned with and, as artists, we can use this as an open arena. I’m sure people are as ready for one nut as they are for the next.”

“We’re definitely doing this in the spirit of art.”

“We’re doing all those political clichés – but as a peanut. It’s using the election as a medium – just as an artist uses a canvas or a block of stone for carving.”

Mr. Peanut’s platform in 1974 was for an art city: P for Performance, E for Elegance, A for Art, N for Nonsense, U for Uniqueness, and T for Talent. Trasov’s performance brought Vancouver to national and international attention and received features in Esquire magazine and Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine.

Beat writer William S Burroughs, who happened to be in town, endorsed his candidacy, according to a news release about the exhibition.

Mr Peanut got 2,685 votes, or 3.4% of total votes cast. He lost to incumbent Art Phillips.

The exhibition takes place Saturday in the retail space in South Creek Landing, 2207 Cambie, at the south foot of Cambie Bridge.

The exhibition will include drawings, video and a performance of Peanuts from Heaven, the campaign theme song to the tune of Pennies from Heaven. The exhibition runs from 11 am to 4 pm.

For more information, contact Wil Aballe at

Read online