This is Memphis Portrait Exhibition – Life Imitates Art

Once in a great while, from amid the mental wasteland of the city, a bold and towering idea emerges like a cellphone of brilliance in a darkened theater.

Such was the case when Michael Cardwell first captured the greatness and character of our town with his This is Memphis portraiture collection.

The exhibit started strong: just a single image of me and the declaration “This is Memphis.”

But if artists displayed good judgment they wouldn’t be artists, and so in short order Cardwell’s itchy photo finger had diluted the powerhouse collection with pictures of entrepreneurs, commoners, and even do-gooders.

It became difficult to find the genius in the haystack.

So when it came to my attention that the collection would be temporarily leaving the internet to adorn the walls of Mpact Memphis, I leaped at the chance to re-infuse the exhibit with a concentrated dose of awesome.

Although Mpact had a crowd density that would make sardines thankful for their can, I took the opportunity to resolve once and for all the age-old quandary of whether art imitates life or vice-versa.


The result: Art makes a terrible role model.

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