Daily Art Moment: Bobby Abrahamson

Kat, from the series North Portland Polaroids, Bobby Abrahamson, gelatin silver print, image: 13 5/16 x 10 1/16 inches; sheet: 14 x 10 15/16 inches. A portrait oriented, black and white photograph of an individual seen through a storefront window arranging produce and smiling directly at the viewer. Their dark hair is pulled back, and they have dark arched eyebrows, a dimple on their right cheek and a beauty spot on their left above their mouth. Their smile is warm and welcoming. They wear a short-sleeved t-shirt under a dark apron. Their hands reach down in front of them to arrange a large bowl of olives amid bunches of grapes, small boxes of cherries and other kinds of produce. The figure is flanked by small store signs. One elaborately framed one to the left reads “Bakery Harvest Festival”, to their right is an out of focus sign in the background and one is directly in front of the figure and advertises “Rolls” and “Thanksgiving Dinner”. At top left a neon sign is partially seen. It reads “…El Food” and “…O-Nuts”. Across the lower section of the photo, a horizontal streak of white is visible, possibly a light reflection on the store window. Behind the figure are elements of the shop: a paned glass window and doorway. A narrow uneven white line along the outer edge of the photo frames the scene.

Earlier this week, public-facing workers throughout Oregon became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. These are the folks who have kept shelves stocked, food prepared, systems running, buses moving, and packages delivered (among so many other visible and hidden jobs) during a dangerous and anxious time. This additional, positive step toward a healthier future makes me hopeful for the days ahead, when we can genuinely and more freely interact with those who help us with our many daily needs and wants.

Julia Dolan, The Minor White Curator of Photography

Bobby Abrahamson (American, born 1966), Kat, from the series North Portland Polaroids, 2012 (negative); 2015 (print). Gelatin silver print. Museum Purchase: Funds provided by Deborah Buchanan and Scott Teitsworth, 2015.154.7 © 2012 Bobby Abrahamson

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