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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Twenty Five: Stimulating the imagination with “opposites and contradictions” > Contrasts, Portland, Oregon, 2009
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Contrasts, Portland, Oregon, 2009

The 43 story US Bancorp Tower is the second tallest skyscraper in Portland. It is known as “Big Pink” because of its color, and an album by “The Band.” It is the largest office building in Oregon in terms of volume. Portland’s top grossing restaurant, offering the best views of the city, occupies its thirtieth floor. Several blocks away is the Union Gospel Mission, which as been feeding the homeless and restoring the lives of addicts since 1927. I juxtapose the two structures, anchoring the image with one of downtown Portland’s signature Victorian light poles. They are polar opposites in that one structure celebrates wealth and the other exists because of poverty. Yet the rain clouds that drift across the image seem to unite them both, given the context of Portland’s current economic dislocations.

Leica D-Lux 4
1/800s f/5.6 at 7.9mm iso80 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original auto
Phil Douglis23-Nov-2014 17:03
Hi, Pranev. i have tried to make your comments show up. if they do not, here is what you said in your initial commentary: What I feel is the most stand-out contradiction here is how the different types of media stand compared: 17th century to the 21st, from having to arduously paint a detailed painting to capture a realistic scene, to just having to whip out a camera and shoot. And as so many of the other commenters wittily observe, the characters in the painting seem blasphemed by this new-fangled technology! Also great idea with increasing the ISO to make the woman look blurred, matching the painting.
Pranav 21-Nov-2014 10:56
Phil, I'm doing a photography assignment on the topic 'Opposites Attract', and I wanted to know if I could show some of your works as my 'Artist Influences' since your images have influenced me. Could you also email me my original comment as I may have need of it( it's not showing up on the site). Thanks a lot!
Phil Douglis18-Nov-2014 20:22
Thanks, Pranav, for adding this commentary. I am delighted that you found the overhead rain clouds to be a unifying force here, and that in the end, nature eventually rules.
Pranav 15-Nov-2014 14:27
I really like this image because on the surface it's just old vs new, but the rain unites everything. It's great that old and new, poor and rich, everything just falls apart in front of nature.
Phil Douglis05-Jul-2009 20:42
Thanks, Carol, for pointing out the role of perspective here. The truncated skyscraper not only becomes more equal to the mission structure, but it actually becomes a part of it. I agree about the Victorian light pole -- it has warmed this area for many years with light and will continue to do so.
Carol E Sandgren05-Jul-2009 20:37
This image really works for me. Not only the clouds seem to unite the two but the perspective. But we know by reading your description that the two are at extreme opposites in their purpose. The fact that there is only a small part of the skyscraper rich building appearing gives the image, to me an equal balance. The fact that the word MISSION is displayed and there is no explanation visible of the skyscraper gives it a more poignant feel to the image. The old Victorian lamps which will light the old building after the sun goes down gives a sense of hope.
Tim May05-Jul-2009 20:31
Commerce and spirit united by clouds.
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