I had the pleasure of going to the Michael Cogliantry opening last night and wanted to share some of the experience. The show was hosted at a relatively new art/music space in pdx called Rererato, around 42nd and Killingsworth. The artists that run the space, Adam Keller and Stephanie Simek, moved to Portland from New Jersey about 6 months ago and from the looks of their myspace page they are more connected in the indie art scene than any old timer in Portland I know. Keep your eye on them; I feel great things to come in the future.
Adam was a close friend of Michael’s in college and subsequently became the subject of many portraits, most notably the disgruntled bellboy (as seen here-http://www.womenshealthmag.com/you-and-improved/tips-for-booking-a-hotel-room).
The highlight of last night’s event -besides the amazing photography, of course- was the white linen suit on display that Michael wore every single day of his travels through India. As witnessed in his photographs, the suit drove approx. 2,000 km in a motorized rickshaw, hiked through a banana plantation, climbed out of a giant dirt hole and suffered the wrath of some delicious dal. Needless to say, the end result is a slightly less white (aka brown) and smelly suit. Michael mentioned to me that towards the end of the trip he was a little embarrassed walking into a hotel with it on. Lucky for me, the suit’s smell was covered by copious amounts of Nag Champa at last night’s festivities. Sadly, I don’t have a photo of the suit from the exhibit.
From Portland, Michael is heading to Nome, Alaska for his next project. Nome is an old gold rush town and the closest US town to Russia. Speculatively, the name came from a misspelling on an old map that beckoned for a town as yet un-“NAME”-ed. Michael told me he’s thinking snowscapes and bar scenes for his next project and noted that his contact in AK offered up helicopters and sled dogs. I can’t wait!