One day we were shooting “Portlandia” downtown and we went to eat in the lunchroom of this church where they were having an art show. This season’s shoot was really hard; I felt very pushed and challenged, and I was tired and disoriented a lot. I remember sitting down and seeing this painting on a canvas. It said: “If you can, please wake up.” It’s this weird, dark, intense phrase that almost sounded like something like a kid would say to his parents. And that became my mantra for the whole rest of the shoot.
I spent two weeks chasing down the artist— he was the security guard at the building. I told him how much that painting meant to me and how it had really gotten me through the shoot and he said, “I would be happy to sell it to you if it means that much to you.” So about a month ago, I drove over to his house and bought the painting from him.
— Carrie Brownstein
Photographs © We Are The Rhoads