Surprise surprise, the Oregonian
doesn't get Chris Johanson
. It's the kind of regionalist reactionary coverage
we have come to expect from the O (ok they do a good job with voyeuristic photography like Crewdson etc.).
For a more balanced take this is what PORT
wrote last month
. I think the installation part of the APEX show is one of
the better ones Ive seen him do.
Johanson at his best is a brilliant poet and not so much an outsider as an inside leader of an international trend in valuing indie cred sincerity
(always a difficult thing to gage). It is related to the WTO riots. What is
sad is that the O failed to explore why Portland is appealing to Johanson and
thousands of other artists... the city is one giant conscientious objection
to the second half of the 20th century. 100 years from now Johanson (along with
Basquiat) will be seen as a voice to contend with in a sea of meganational and
yuppie aesthetic slickness. (I'm coming up on my 8th anniversary in Portland
and I'll be publishing a big picture piece this week discussing that very thing).
of the Johanson show also makes some nice points but I felt the childlike
angle infantilized the work in a way that leads to readings like that in the
O. Johanson's less a child and more like someone who shuns refinement for refinement's sake.
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