Lace Your Dunks and See Some Art

Lower East Burnside is experiencing that thing I like to call “the renaissance before the storm.” This once unattainable bit of road once housed car lots and cred and now offers some of the most dynamic eating in the city as well as record stores, galleries, boutiques and the um – Doug Fir. Right now some of the most viable people in the city are hawking wares right here, spitting distance from the Sandy Hut, so get in on it before Pottery Barn moves in.


“Nudes and Landscapes” – Paul Hernandez
“The Strangers Lens” -David Lanthan Reamer
Newspace Photography, 1632 S.E. 10th Ave.

Sure it’s not right off of lower Burnside but I hit a wall of boutique/gallery before I want some straight-up heady shit. Because I look horrible in V-necks and frilly skirts and that’s all the rage right now.

In “Strangers Lens” David Lanthan Reamer creates a past that doesn’t exist. He emotes memories of families past, friends aged and Americana that never existed. It’s nice that Reamer has a shtick here, because far too often work like his gets lost in the unimagined land of portraits and object landscapes. With “The Strangers Lens,” the viewer gets more than an eyeful of turned heads, bold whites and distressed textures; they get a sense of nostalgia and vaguely melancholic loss. And knowing the remnant memories are false forces us to explore our attachment to memory in general, what we really feel and have become conditioned to.

Paul Hernandez’s nudes are as artful as they are sexual, revealing without overtly removing mystery. His landscapes are vivid and well framed. The hue of place beams out and captures a sense of the romantic and exotic. And that’s why his work sucks. Hernandez treats his subjects with a sense of history that hails from the pages of Raygun and Sunset Magazine. His landscapes are so obvious and innocuous they belong on travel brochures or free screen savers. His nudes, complete with exposed negative edges reek of that mid-’90s “edgy” aesthetic that was neither edgy nor empowering. His women (all women) are all attractive and well groomed in a faux-subversive manner that makes his work feel like Suicide Girls-lite. Hernandez’s work is work of fantasy. Now if only it knew so.


Couples Only Group Show
Moshi Moshi, 811 E. Burnside St.

“Couples Only” features work by, well, three couples that have been making a mighty name for themselves as of late: Brett & Whitney Superstar, Matt & Beth of StudioAcorn, and Apak. The best part of this show is that while all three couples share a certain space and time in Portland art, diffusing cute and natural into a fizzy cocktail of style and (for Portland this counts) outstanding execution. From the superstar’s tendency for mid-’70s palates and stroke-showing craftiness, to Apak’s hyper-cute tech-savvy cartoonishness to StudioAcorn’s “nature is glamour,” there is no doubting that these couples are at the top of their perspective scenes. This is a small show, but one worth seeing because no matter how disparate these six artists are, this is the Portland aesthetic done right.


“Business Minded”
Renowned Gallery, 811 E. Burnside St.

Right next door to Moshi Moshi, Renowned offers a show of decorated “found” business cards reclaimed by a bevy of artists. The show looks at the banality of how we communicate, how we as people in industries present ourselves and how given an individual touch that can become a dynamic representation. Plus, it sort of says, “like art is our business, so we’re really like, stick it straight man, you know.” Word.

This is a big show of little works featuring Jeremyville, Lily deSaussure, Jill Bliss, Kevin Scalzo, Deth P. Sun, Luke Ramsey, Ryan Bubnis, Jacob Magraw, Breanne Trammell, Jennifer Jackman, Wilson Hsu, Daniel Lim, Omar Lee, Victoria Keddie, Michelle Blade, I like Drawing, Marci Washington, Bwana spoons, Maxwell Holyoke-Hirsch, Kelly Lynn Jones and others. That’s a lot of networking.


“Heaven & Earth” – Jim Lommasson
New American Art Union, 922 S.E. Ankeny St.

“Heaven & Earth” explores the way faith integrates itself into American life. Not through act or dogmatic belief, but through objects, graffiti, detritus and poverty. The American life is a vast and varied existence and Lommasson’s exquisite photographs capture that perfectly. Each scene, from dilapidated Pena costal meeting halls to tiny textural crucifixes, represents through objects alone, and religious ones at that, how America really lives. His show last year at NAAU was fucking brilliant, and this one seems hopefully even.