About the Photographer
American, b. 1951
In his own words, Christopher Rauschenberg's photographs build on the simple idea that the so-called ordinary world around us is far from ordinary. Whether he's photographing in Portland, Oregon, the city where he lives, or on his regular travels abroad, Rauschenberg finds beautiful or unusual elements within what would appear to be the realm of the mundane. "As children, we never quite knew what was going on and the world was filled with mystery," he writes. "The knowledge and experience we have accumulated since then acts as a barrier to our simply looking at things…In my photographs, I try to lose that deadening familiarity and recapture the richness and mystery that we once saw.”
Having photographed in numerous countries in Europe and the Americas, Rauschenberg traveled to Thailand in 2005. Even in a place that he describes as "flamboyantly wonderful," Rauschenberg reflects on the presence of the unexpected and affecting in common situations and settings. In the process, in this series, Rauschenberg frequently photographs the country's temples and religious statuary, as in the image "Sukhodai," accentuating their patina and lingering over the signs of the passage of time.
Rauschenberg, the son of artist Robert Rauschenberg, was born in New York in 1951, He began taking photographs as a child in 1957 and went on to complete a BA in photography from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He has been exhibiting his photographs for over twenty years. From 1982 to 1996 Rauschenberg taught at Marylhurst College in Lake Oswego, Oregon. After settling in Portland he became a founding member of the nonprofit Blue Sky Gallery and a co-founder of the Photolucida photography festival.