Extraordinary Vacant Spaces with William Rihel and Christopher Rauschenberg

The two Drawers photographers whose work is on display this week, William Rihel and Christopher Rauschenberg, focus on finding the extraordinary moments within the ordinary: Rihel creates narratives by including traces of humans without their physical presence, while Rauschenberg’s work explores light and space in neighborhoods and alleyways in places far from home.

William Rihel is based in Portland, Oregon. He graduated from from Pratt Institute in 2000 and has been actively exhibiting his work since his return to Portland in the following years. Rihel’s work featured in the drawers depicts what seems to be uninhabited areas, and although one figure appears in the series, she is still hidden from view only exposing her feet to the viewer. His apt use of color juxtaposes the loneliness of these images, allowing the viewer to relate to the space but to also acknowledge the abandonment that’s taking place.

 Christopher Rauschenberg, one of the founding members of Blue Sky, makes most of his photographs overseas. Christopher has explored many different areas of the world and has exhibited his work in Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Greece, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the United States, and Yugoslavia, to list a few. Rauschenberg’s series featured in the drawers focuses of his trip to Macedonia during the summer of 2013. There is a mysterious sense of place in each of the images which portray an active yet empty cityscape. Rauschenberg successfully captures the ephemeral aspect of light and color in these wonderfully composed photographs.

- Kory Jean Kingsley