Forgotten Louisville: New & Selected Photographs by Chris Anger

Review by Annette Skaggs

Entire text is copyright © 2019 by Annette Skaggs. All rights reserved.

Photographs © Chris Anger. Used with permission.

It probably does not come as a surprise, but Chris Anger, the person whose name is synonymous with Improvisation in Louisville (The Louisville Improvisors), is also gifted in another medium: photography.

His show, currently up at Highland Coffee Company, is a blend of Louisville’s past and present. 25 color photos capture weather-worn walls highlighted by peeling paint and faded icons of businesses past, such as Puritan Uniforms in SoBro and the revered Morrisey Parking Garage where the Omni Hotel now stands. Despite the loss of the garage, the talented Britney Steele was hired by the Omni to recreate the Morrisey signage as a mural upon one of their walls. She nailed its visage, making it look weathered and worn. Perhaps she used Anger’s picture as a reference?

While I appreciate Anger showing us how vulnerable buildings can become due to mistreatment and Mother Nature, especially his capture of a dilapidated Dairy Del, I would love to have seen a juxtaposition of beautiful architecture against the backdrop of distressed properties.

The sharp images of the photography kind of made me want to hunt for where the buildings were as many of them are quite memorable: First Link or Pussy Cat Lounge, for example. But there are a few that I know I have passed by hundreds of times but have not taken notice until seeing them in a different way through Anger’s lens.

By the way, that lens is on a smartphone, a fact that may make you feel like you aren’t getting the most out of your own hand-held device, or that “anybody can do that”. But as a body of work, there is a distinct aesthetic perspective t work here. The physical presentation delivers each print in the same square, 8″x 8″ dimensions, a repetition that echoes the city block environments and the voluminous Instagram gallery that contains all of his images to date.

So, if you are looking for a little fun, check out this insightful exhibit and see if you can locate where these photos were taken and if any of the past remains present. You might be surprised. Perhaps one of these images will resonate with your own personal history.



Forgotten Louisville: New & Selected Photographs by Chris Anger

Through January 31, 2019

Highland Coffee Company
1140 Bardstown Road
Louisville, Kentucky 40204


Annette Skaggs is heavily involved as an Arts Advocate here in Louisville. She is a freelance professional opera singer who has performed throughout Europe and in St. Louis, Cincinnati, Boulder, Little Rock, Peoria, Chicago, New York and of course Louisville. Aside from her singing career, she has been a production assistant for Kentucky Opera, New York City Opera, and Northwestern University. Her knowledge and expertise have developed over the course of 25+ years’ experience in the classical arts.