Das Gutte
Couch Gallery, 328 NW Broadway #117, shows through August, Fri 5-7 pm, Sat 12-5 pm, www.couchstuff.com

This month, renowned German art collector and film historian Dietmar Eichelberger brings to the Couch Gallery Das Gutte, an exhibit of Steve Guttenberg memorabilia. Those roller skates Guttenberg wore in Can't Stop the Music. The brain of Number 5 from Short Circuit. And even a mailbox taken from Guttenberg's grandfather's house. It's all on display throughout this month. "Das Gutte is more than just a collection of stuff," Couch Gallery Ambassador Aaron Korlikowski told me recently. "It's a portrait of a man." On a 20-city international tour, Eichelberger's only stop in the U.S. will be in Portland. "He doesn't really like America," continued Korlikowsi. Fortunately, he found enough love in his heart for America to speak with me, through an interpreter, while on vacation in New York City.

MERCURY: How did you meet Steve Guttenberg?

DIETMAR: I met Steven in 1990. He came through Amsterdam on a promo tour for 3 Men and a Little Lady, and while he was there he arranged for a private tour of the museum I worked for at the time.

What was it about Guttenberg that made you want to create Das Gutte?

He was simply a very warm and likable person and he had a way of making you feel as if you knew him for a long time.

Is Guttenberg a beloved icon throughout Germany?

He is not as popular as David Hasselhoff, but he has always had a small group of devoted followers for films like Police Academy.

Does Guttenberg know about your collection?

He finds the collection somewhat overwhelming and when he heard of my plans he actually laughed.

Did that hurt your feelings?

No, I understand--he's very popular and I'm just a small art collector. It is not offensive.

Out of all the cities in America, why did you choose Portland?

Because it is a well-known liberal city, and I believe that Short Circuit was filmed not far from Portland, which was another reason.

Is Short Circuit your favorite Guttenberg work?

No. My favorite, if I had to choose, is Can't Stop the Music.

Do you think Guttenberg's star will ever rise again to the illustrious place it once held in the Hollywood sky?

Yes, I think there is still a chance. He will appear in the show Veronica Mars this fall, so the prospects look good.

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