Lace your dunks and see some art.

Portland Modern Release Party
Friday, May 12, 9 p.m.
Occurring at Apotheke, 1314 N.W. Glisan St., Suite 2A, and sure to be oh, so very glamorous.

Since hitting newsstands and galleries in 2004, Portland Modern has been putting a solid face on Portland art. Think of it as the little magazine that could. PDX publications come and go, but through sheer tenacity and networking Portland Modern has been sending some of our best and most progressive artists home with you every eight months. With exhibitions and a new window project to accompany it, Portland Modern has in just two years become a standby for patrons looking for insight beyond the gallery.

Previous issues have featured some of PDX’s favorite artists, including TJ Norris, Erica Khor, Don Olsen and Holly Andres. Andres, incidentally, will be featured in the Portland Art Museum’s 2006 biennial alongside Mariana Tres, Portland Modern founders Andrew Ellmaker and Mark Brandau and issue curators Pat Boas and Kristan Kennedy.

Friday will celebrate the release of Portland Modern’s fourth issue, curated by Kennedy, a longtime PICA power player, and artist Mathew Stadler, and promises to be a doozy. The issue, appropriately titled “Saturation,” will feature more than two-dozen artists, a considerable increase from the average six or so. Included in issue four are longtime Portland artists and collaborators, including Liz Haley, Rae Mahaffey and Eva Lake, and certainly it has been well worth the wait.

San Keller, “Make My Day”
Friday, May 12, 2 p.m.
Valentine’s, 232 S.W. Ankeny St.

The Swiss artist San Keller will finish out his four-day stint in P-town, which began as part of PSU’s Monday Night Lecture Series, and as of this printing he is blowing minds throughout Portland. Keller is spending Wednesday and Thursday on “Make My Day,” a continuous action designed from 16 proposals picked from audience ideas collected Tuesday at Valentine’s. Keller has a reputation as a smart and funny situationist and has been a resident at New York’s PS1 Museum. His lecture Friday will sum up his action in Portland, and his sensibilities promise to fit right in here in PDX.

Mo, Little JEMs
Genuine Imitation Gallery, 625 N.W. Everett St., #110

The diminutive paintings that make up Little JEMs are a perfect show for Genuine Imitation, which even in its new location is a small gallery. It’s also a departure from the illustrative pop flavor the gallery usually champions, concentrating on tiny studies, portraits and landscapes. In Mo’s artist statement there is a lot of talk about the difference in painting a large versus a small canvas. The movements involved in a large canvas involve the whole body – sweeping gestures and swooping movements. With a small canvas the movement is contained in wrist strokes and fine distinct movements. That said, the paintings in Little JEMs, while compelling, are still a little loose for my taste. It’s interesting to see and think about the choices Mo makes, what corners of the world were chosen, but on the whole the pieces still come off feeling a little like, well, studies. Something done for the artist’s own benefit, perhaps more at home in the studio, or a retrospective than a gallery alone. They are cute though.


Mini Plushtastrophe
Moshi Moshi, 811 E. Burnside St.

If all this is getting too highbrow for you this week, I understand, it’s all a little MFA for me too. Take a break and visit the psychedelic plushy mess at Moshi Moshi and deflate a little. Plushtastrophe is a delightful mess of altered, handmade and thoroughly fucked-up stuffed animals scarier than the clown in Poltergeist. Plushtastrophe is one of my standby favorites and it’s a little disappointing this one’s so small, but funny scary plush action is funny scary plush action. And I’m not talking about that time your mom was dating the guy who played Big Bird in Sesame Street Live. After this we can go to My Father’s Place, drink Pabst and light our farts. That should about bring it back to zero.