Ray Noland is an artist who is totally smitten with Barack Obama
. Noland is the man behind GoTellMama!
, a Chicago-based, independently operated political art campaign that makes the freshest, dopest, most ill-maculate Obama art on the market right now. Portlanders should go apeshit for this guy. To prove the 75,000 people who turned out for Obamarama on the Waterfront was no fluke, we suggest you go check out the GoTellMama! gallery showing this weekend at Art 323 (323 NW 6th Ave.).
Noland will be showing one-of-a-kind Obama pieces as well as his popular posters and prints. All pieces will be available for purchase at the gallery, with posters ranging from $25-$75, and one-of-a-kinds maxing out at $2,000. At Friday's opening reception, the gallery will be bumpin' to the music of DJ James Anthony
and Instigatah. There will also be food and wine.
Noland started making Obama art in November 2006, when there was a void; though there's a boom in Obama art
now, GoTellMama!'s is a cut above. Noland's business didn't really spike until January of this year, when it became clear Obama was not only charismatic but viable as a Democratic presidential candidate. Since then, life has been a whirlwind for GoTellMama! Noland made enough money from his first gallery show in Chicago to buy a new Subaru and motor his art campaign around the country. “We're funded by people who love Obama, and love what I'm doing” he said. Portland is GoTellMama!'s fourth stop, following Chicago, Philadelphia and Raleigh, N.C.
After 75,000 strong took over Waterfront Park for Obama on May 18, Noland strolled into Portland the following week expecting to find a welcoming gallery space with ease. But “Portland has been the hardest of all my shows,” he says. Most galleries required Noland to get an OLCC liquor license and insurance for the event. Since Noland didn't have the time or resources to jump through the bureaucratic hoops, he tried to find a space through his network of friends.
Art 323 is one of Portland's newest gallery spaces and will be a good fit for GoTellMama!'s showing this weekend. Obama posters currently adorn the front windows, and stenciled on the bright white walls are outlines of Obama, the United States, a media cameraman, and a parody of “Obama Girl”
with “I heart Obama” stenciled on an ass cheek. Noland began constructing his Portland exhibit on Monday and was making good headway as of Wednesday afternoon.
On May 6, while preparing for the Raleigh show, Noland met the man himself when Obama, his wife Michelle, a few aides and about 15 press hounds stopped by the gallery on a whim. Before Obama hits up the Democratic National Convention in August, the show will ideally make stops in Atlanta, Brooklyn, St. Louis, Austin, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver (the Convention's host city).
Art 323, 323 NW 6th Ave., email@example.com. Opening Reception 6-9 pm Friday, May 30. Exhibition hours noon-6 pm Saturday-Sunday, May 31 – June 1. All ages. Free.