“Shawnee” by Chris Anger

Chris Anger is a man about town. As an actor, comedian, playwright, podcast talk-show host and member and founder of the Louisville Improvisors, Anger often commandeers the spotlight.

In his newest endeavor, however, he is doing just the opposite. Anger likes to spend time behind the camera, documenting Louisville’s past through abandoned buildings.

He’s been showcasing his self-taught photography skills on his Instagram account, Rafes Bitter Pill, for more than five years, and now he’s chosen 30 of his favorite shots for a photography exhibit titled “Forgotten Louisville,” which is now on display at Highland Coffee Co.

Chris Anger | Photo by Lily Bartenstein

Anger tells Insider he dabbled in photography during his childhood and early adulthood, but when cameras became more accessible and easier to use through cellphones, he found himself taking pictures in various neighborhoods nearly every day.

“I’ve been taking pictures for a long time and have loved photography my whole life, but it wasn’t until I got an iPhone that I found the ideal outlet for my photos,” he says.

Anger’s 8-inch-by-8-inch photos are situated in the coffee shop along the left wall, where they’ll hang through Jan. 1. Each one is for sale for $50, and he’s donating 10 percent of his profits to the local animal rescue nonprofit The Arrow Fund.

Anger’s explorations have taken him to Portland, Russell and some South End neighborhoods, where when he spots an abandoned home or business that looks interesting to him, he waits for just the right light to hit it perfectly. He finds beauty in these dilapidated buildings, as they are a reminder of our past, and he can see the potential they once held.

Some of the pieces in “Forgotten Louisville” | Photo by Sara Havens

He also shoots with three rules in mind — no filters, no staging and no Photoshop.

“I love light and I love color, so I don’t want to use anything that isn’t natural when taking these photos,” he explains.

At the moment, Anger has nearly 1,400 followers on Instagram, and he hopes this show boosts that number a tad bit more.

“Forgotten Louisville” hangs through Jan. 1. Highland Coffee is located at 1140 Bardstown Road.

Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."