Kirk Crippens Portraitlandia

1 Kirk Crippens Portraitlandia Andrew Shuler

Andrew Shuler

6 Kirk Crippens Portraitlandia Ed Edmo

Ed Edmo

2 Kirk Crippens Portraitlandia Andy Lewendowski

Andy Lewendowski

3 Kirk Crippens Portraitlandia Audrey & Strommer

Audrey & Strommer

4 Kirk Crippens Portraitlandia Damos Abadon

Damos Abadon

5 Kirk Crippens Portraitlandia Dark Lady & DJ Kronos

Dark Lady & DJ Kronos

8 Kirk Crippens Portraitlandia Gayle Whitehurst

Gayle Whitehurst

9 Kirk Crippens Portraitlandia Ibrahim Mubarak

Ibrahim Mubarak

10 Kirk Crippens Portraitlandia Jedediah Aaker

Jedediah Aaker

11 Kirk Crippens Portraitlandia John McAfee

John McAfee

12 Kirk Crippens Portraitlandia Laura Gibson

Laura Gibson

13 Kirk Crippens Portraitlandia Mary Kozlov2

Mary Kozlov2

14 Kirk Crippens Portraitlandia Sam Henry

Sam Henry

7 Kirk Crippens Portraitlandia Fred & Toody

Fred & Toody

15 Kirk Crippens Portraitlandia Skip Carroll

Skip Carroll

16 Kirk Crippens Portraitlandia Tres Shannon III

Tres Shannon III

17 KirkCrippens Portraitlandia NikSin

Nik Sin

 

Before my artist residency at Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, Oregon I was reflecting on ways I might connect with the city during my visit. On hearing news reports of John Brennan, the PDX naked airport protestor, I started thinking about a view camera project photographing interesting Portlanders. I began gradually piecing together a list of possible portrait subjects: Tres Shannon, founder of Voodoo Doughnuts, former Mayor Sam Adams, and eccentric millionaire John McAfee, though he was new to town. I wanted a diverse and representative group, so I also sought participants who were not as well known but who could represent a part of the city: a mail carrier, a mechanic, and a nun.

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 answer was Portraitlandia. Ironically, after my slideshow a group of Portlanders began insisting I name the project Portraitlandia; I resisted (hadn’t I just proclaimed this to be the worst title?) But they persisted. They told me it was what I had created. I had created Portraitlandia.

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. The next scene featured Jedediah Aaker, who had posed for me in his lion suit. It was a surreal moment. I thought ‘this silly, joyful television show seems to love Portland and it uses humor to reflect and celebrate the city.’ 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.

 

All images © courtesy of Kirk Crippens

www.kirkcrippens.com