ultra Q: Jeff Jahn
artist, critic, PORT co-founder, aesthete and visual arts impresario, Jeff Jahn responds to the ultra Q in which we ask Portland’s movers and makers a number of pressing questions
Jeff Jahn is what you’d have to call a player in the PDX visual arts scene. Artist and curator behind the temporary art exhibitions Fresh Trouble and The Best Coast, Jeff Jahn is a co-founder of PDX arts blog PORT, visual arts critic (formerly at NW Drizzle), and member of the Contemporary Art Council at the Portland Art Museum. Outspoken and provocative, Jahn sees greatness in the arts in Portland and won’t let any of us settle for less. He took a moment to answer the ultra Q.
Qualities you most admire in design: idiosyncratic existentialism
Qualities you least admire in design: amateur contortionists
Reading: Shakespeare’s Sonnet #16, the 1609 Quarto version, daily
Listening to: good advice, Wayne Kramer’s “Brought a knife to the gunfight,” Stuart Copeland, Miles Davis’ transitional album Miles Smiles, Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats, Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville, Yma Sumac singing from low to high (what range!), Bowie and the regular sounds of the Max Yellow Line train.
Dream project: … stop dreaming and get on with it!
Secret super power: overwhelming respect
Tragic flaw: doomed to hate frivolous attention and nearly all praise, yet refuse to be ignored.
Favorite virtue: generous ambition
Favorite vice: leaving long voicemail messages
That which keeps your afterburners firing: the nagging question, “If I don’t, who will?”
What you’d like to be when you grow up: B e t t e r
Portland’s best kept secret: Portland is the capital of conscience for 21st century America, but hasn’t been completely honest with itself about the walk that role talks. What isn’t secret, that situation is changing.
Portland heroes (sung or un-): the dense network of idiosyncratic shopkeepers, café owners and gallerists that make Portland so great…
Interesting on the horizon (PDX): follow-through or shut up.