July 5, 2012 - July 29, 2012
North Portland Polaroids
After buying a house in North Portland in the spring of 2011, photographer Bobby Abrahamson decided to stay in town for the summer and start shooting “a portrait a day” in his neighborhood of St. Johns. About the same time, he received from a friend a box of the coveted and soon-to-be-extinct Polaroid Type 55 4” X 5” instant positive/negative film. Even though he had not photographed much with a large-format camera, and certainly not portraits on the street, he embraced the project as a way to meet his new neighbors.
Julia Dolan, The Minor White Curator of Photography at the Portland Art Museum, contributed the foreword to a new volume featuring the artist’s North Portland portraits. In her words, “Bobby Abrahamson’s photographic typology featuring the individuals who call St. Johns home does what any good typology should do: it calls attention to similarity as well as difference, and though favoring neither, it savors the subtleties of idiosyncrasy.” All of the portraits on display at Blue Sky are original prints Abrahamson made from Polaroid negatives taken in North Portland between July 2011 and March 2012.
On the occasion of Blue Sky’s exhibition, Ampersand Gallery & Fine Books is publishing a limited edition volume featuring 46 images from this series. North Portland Polaroids is 102 pages with an introduction by Julia Dolan, The Minor White Curator of Photography at the Portland Art Museum. The first ten copies are signed, numbered, and include a limited 8″X10″ gelatin silver print; all copies are available directly through Ampersand.
Bobby Abrahamson is a Portland, Oregon-based documentary photographer, filmmaker, and media educator. He has five published books of his work, and has been featured in several solo and group shows in the United States and Europe. His work is included in the permanent collections of institutions such as the Portland Art Museum, the Oregon Jewish Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, Serbia, the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. His professional clients include TIME, Fortune, US News & World Report, The New York Times, and Wieden & Kennedy. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Media Studies from The New School, New York. Abrahamson teaches photography and media literacy in the Portland metropolitan area at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Mount Hood Community College, Clark College, Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland Art Museum, Newspace Center for Photography, Saturday Academy, and Open Meadow Middle School.
This project was supported in part by a professional development grant from the Clark College Foundation.