Kirk Crippens: Portraitlandia
At the end of my Newspace residency, I had the pleasure of presenting the images during an artist talk. I posed a question to the audience before showing the work: “What’s the worst title you can think of for a portrait project made in Portland?” My own answer was Portraitlandia, an obvious riff on the TV show Portlandia. Ironically, after my slideshow a group of Portlanders began insisting that I name the project Portraitlandia; I resisted (hadn’t I just proclaimed this to be the worst title?) But they were quite insistent! They told me it was exactly what I had created. I had created Portraitlandia.
In fact, a few days later while watching an episode of Portlandia a familiar face appeared, it was John Brennan! A new skit started and there was Mayor Sam Adams, followed by Jedediah Aaker, who had posed for me in his lion suit. This one episode had three people from my project featured as extras. It was a surreal moment. I thought ‘This silly, joyful television show is reflecting the world I’ve been living in for the past month!’ During the past month I’d tried to connect with the city with portraiture. Somehow Portraitlandia began to seem like the perfect title for a portrait project created in Portland in 2013.
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