Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Too Bad It No Longer Exists: The Darkest Art Gallery in Portland , Oregon
The Darkest Art Gallery in Portland , Oregon Cannibals, an Art Gallery in NW Portland Cultivates a Dark Aesthetic like No Other in the City Lex Loeb Contributor Network . My impression of Cannibals (art gallery ) located at 518 NW 21st street in Portland Oregon has evolved as it has evolved since it's opening. Originally the gallery was named Cannibals because all of the art works within were supposed to be made of cannibalized art or from recycled materials as I recall. Over time the Gallery has seemed to evolve into a the realm of a dark aesthetic that can make the cuteness of some of their objects for sale there seem demonic. If I were to set the scene in the gallery to music it would be a dark noted melody in a minor key. There are taxidermy deer heads on the wall that have weird artistic surgery, Bloody Jesus doll iconography. There was a wall of black and white Obama charcoal paper drawings and back lit Barbie type doll close up photographs mounted in what look like television screen frames. There is quite a lot of art packed into a shop like atmosphere with a number of different artists represented floor to ceiling. It is a nice departure from the galleries that attempt to make the visitor see only what is highlighted on a bright white wall at eye level. At Cannibals the art plasters the wall at every level from floor to ceiling. Many of the artists are quite proficient professionals and a few even may be classically trained. It is dark but it is a nice departure from the norm in Portland which has become way too predictable. I like art galleries that take their own course ignoring the crowd and blazing its own new pathways. Cannibals seems to seek our artists whose visions just might not fit in very well in a more common denominator gallery. I found a number of the pieces on display to be particularly disturbing but my last visit did not give me enough time to ponder why which makes me curios enough to go back and find out way. Next to the store is a vintage clothing retail store called Keep Em Flying owned by the same person who runs this unique gallery. Some of the artists in the gallery are quite original and others run of the mill artists. I sense they have a nice community of artists represented there and maybe a few that will grow in status in years to come. The thematic darkness of a lot of work in there is pretty unusual for a Gallery in Portland where most are either cuteness for cuteness sake or salons of art as an investment or at least something that matches the living room couch for interior decorators. This is not that sort of gallery. Cute in this one can be positively disturbing. Now maybe I just saw the Halloween show in October ,2008 to come away with this very dark impression but My recollection is that Cannibals has always been on the dark side. 516 NW 21st , Portland, Oregon 97201-1106 to have a look see. They probably don't have early morning hours as I recall. If you miss the times when the gallery is open still go by and look though the shop windows after hours. .