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Lew Nunnelley at Pearl Gallery and Framing
May 2, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Lew Nunnelley, UNCONVENTIONAL ROLLING ART: GRAFFITI CACOPHONY
May 2 to June 2, 2019
Reception: May 2 from 5pm to 9pm
Pearl Gallery and Framing
2250 NW 22nd Ave Suite 404
Portland, OR 97210
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekdays
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays
and every First Thursday until 9 p.m.
For the month of May, Pearl Gallery & Framing will be showcasing a selection of photographs of graffiti by Lew Nunnelley. This selection of photographs, were made from graffiti images on railroad cars in the Willamette Valley.
“Painting on railroad cars is considered vandalism by some, therefore painting or “tagging” should be done only with prior approval, – Lew Nunnelley
Lew has been making photographs for many years. Like most photographers in the 35mm film era Lew has several shoeboxes of slides that take up space in his closet. About 20 years ago he decided to try to get better at making photographs so he began taking workshops with Galen Rowell, John Sexton, Henry Gilpin and others. Based on those workshops and his interests at that time he pursued traditional landscape photography. Lew still makes photographs with his trusty 4×5 view camera, however as time went on he began to develop an interest in observing and documenting the interaction of people with the environment – how people perceive and manipulate the environment/landscape. This more human oriented view of our environment led to his interest in photographing graffiti.
“Doing graffiti is different than most art. There is no career path. It’s usually anonymous. And the graffiti on railroad cars doesn’t usually stay put – it’s mobile, ephemeral and there is little hope of getting kudos from the professional taste makers.”
The question Lew poses is “why would someone paint graffiti – especially on railroad cars when the railroad companies are usually not enthusiastic about the activity?” His conclusion is that there are several possible motivations of graffiti artists but one, he believes, is that it is the creation of a work of art which livens up the train yard and hopefully is seen by many people, if only briefly. He feels it is a very unselfish and lighthearted way of altering the environment. In passing them, Lew notes that in his opinion, some of the “pieces” (as works of graffiti are called) exhibit a high degree of artistic talent.
“I am not a professional photographer. I am a retired engineer. I do, however, wish to thank all the graffiti artists who have made my journey through life and place a little more colorful.” – Lew Nunnelley.