Tuesday, November 1, 2011

1979 by Randy Moe at the Independent

A couple of years ago I worked extensively on the documentary film Alien Boy, first in production and then, as a photo archivist. I tracked down photos mainly dating from Jim Jim’s punk period, which is when I knew him. This also meant collecting posters, vinyl, any kind of memoirs - a real treasure trove. During this job I discovered that the artist Randy Moe had a great collection of Polaroids, including the one which was the basis of the portrait above.

Randy and I have collaborated on several exhibitions in the past decade, all of them portraiture. It speaks to his excellence that we’ve always sold a lot, something I don’t think is any kind of given when it comes to portraits. In Randy’s case, no, you don’t have to know the subject to want the piece. That’s really unusual. When I opened the Independent, I asked him if he was working on anything. He said no, he was rather at a loss as to what to draw. I then said: “What about those polaroids? Why don’t you draw them?”

Randy decided to make 12 pieces, all based on a single roll of Polaroids shot in 1979 - hence the name of the exhibition. The photos themselves are the editors of the project. Some choices are random while some of the subjects are quite famous, at least when it comes to that era in Portland music history. Virtually all of them were in bands, some in several. Four are no longer with us. Of course everyone is very beautiful.

Please join me at a reception for the artist this First Thursday, November 3rd, 6 – 9PM. BTW, Randy Moe is also taking commissions, at least for a short while. Above is Suzanne Wlaschin Wiest, AKA Beest, who used to be in The Ziplocs.

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