I’ve been thinking about Portland recently and the potential importance of the Grid Project. I’ve been instructed to go to Christopher Rauschenberg to give my ideas the shakedown. This is because he’s largely responsible (although it is a collective effort), but also as one person mentioned over the weekend, “everything photography in Portland goes through Chris.” He is a founding member of Blue Sky Gallery, the regarded Portland photographer’s art collective.
Before I get to the Grid Project, I thought you’d get a kick out of Christopher’s answers lifted straight from this interview:
Do you feel you grew up in your dad’s shadow? He casts a big one.
Not at all. Both my parents were so full of joy and curiosity about life. They taught me how to look at the world. It was always, ‘Look at this piece of trash on the sidewalk. Isn’t it beautiful.’ I won the parent sweepstakes. The difference between me and George Bush is, we were both born on third base, but he thinks he hit a triple. I know I was born on third base, actually, a couple of feet from home plate.
You won the parent sweepstakes, but your dad was an alcoholic.
I’m not a big fan of alcohol. It’s more entertaining to be at full strength than be self-handicapped. Alcohol is a powerful dragon to slay. I’m sorry he couldn’t make that happen. People have flaws. He was a good deal as a dad.
The art world is quite hieratical, but he didn’t seem to be.
At museum openings, he was more interested in talking to museum guards than the director. He said he knew what the director was going to say but not the guards.
Were you impressed with his friends when you were growing up?
I wish I’d been more impressed. I remember one time I stopped by his place after school and he asked me to stay for dinner. Cartier-Bresson was coming. I said I couldn’t. I had homework.