Thursday, June 2nd, 2005
The website art.com, which sells posters and prints online, has come up with an interesting way to build their email list. They provide visitors a neat graphics tool called artPad where visitors can create art and send it to their friends, and the website collects the resulting email addresses for their list. (Although I was glad to see the email had clear opt-out instructions.) The tool generates an animation of the graphic being created. This portrait of myself was done by my friend Libby.
A quick technorati search seems to suggest it hasn’t been online very long … if you have made an image, leave the URL generated when you email it to a friend in the comments.
Monday, May 23rd, 2005
There is shit still running from over a decade ago because there aren’t enough writers that do shit to make going over other people an issue. I think there are a lot of reasons why DC currently has so little graffiti when compared to New York and other cities. One reason is the nature of the city. Most of the people here work for the government in one way or another, and are usually here for only a couple of years before moving away. Another reason is gentrification has, in the past couple of years, picked up a lot of speed here. Whereas NYC (mainly Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn) is well past the saturation point of yuppies and their plastic “communities.” A bi-product of mass-produced consumer culture and cookie-cutter style “communities” is alienation. DC hasn’t reached its boiling point yet.
In terms of risk, it’s like everywhere else in that it depends on the area you’re in. The farther away you get from the downtown area and the surrounding suburbs, the less cops there are. But there are a lot more crazy vigilante types. I’ve been chased several times, yelled at, harrassed, tackled and searched, and not once was it by a cop. At the same time, though, there are a lot of people that are “down,” as long as it’s not gang-related. The myth that most graffiti is gang-related could be why people are so hostile. When I’m painting in yuppie neighborhoods it’s different, people just don’t like me writing on their stuff. It’s more of a pride/arrogance thing with yuppies than it is with native DC folks in poorer neighborhoods. Rich people don’t like authentic face-to-face human interaction, so they call the police a lot more.
My friend Jason is in a play being put on by the Rorshach Theatre company that has a preview this weekend. The story, the best as I can tell, is about the search of a circus sideshow barker for his lost “Box of Prophecy” which also includes “a mid-western couple on vacation, two very drunk hotel bellhops and a waitress who is having the longest night of her life. And then there’s the Mexican Bishop.” The play has no less than five pay-what-you-can previews from May 26 through 30th at 8:00 p.m. and continues until July 25 at $13-$20 a ticket. They perform at the Casa Del Pueblo in Columbia Heights at 1459 Columbia Road NW. (See it on Upcoming)
I was pretty excited at this point. I felt like I had just unraveled a mystery or something and I’m pretty silly so I get off on these kinds of things. And it just so happened that I had my digital camera with me, so ya, I took it out and got a couple pictures of Borf as he walked ahead of me towards the circle.DCist’s Who Is Borf post continues to attract comments on the subject …
I noticed that at each pole or newspaper box that Borf would stop, approach the pole or box, look around, and (probably after he saw my ass tailing him) turn and continue walking. His behavior was so fascinating. It was as if he was naturally drawn to every potential graffiti-worthy object that he passed. Maybe it’s like an addiction or something? …
Monday, April 18th, 2005
Thursday, April 14th, 2005
Monday, April 11th, 2005
Tuesday, March 29th, 2005
Thursday, March 17th, 2005
Sunday, March 13th, 2005
Works by the Mississippi artist Steve Shepard:
Friday, March 11th, 2005
“urban decay 5″
I got in touch with D.C. artist Sepideh Majd after I noticed her work in the Artomatic show last fall. She came to the DCist happy hour tonight, and said she was one of the artists who will be participating in a project to jazz up the Dupont Circle fire boxes. Congrats!
Monday, February 7th, 2005
Photo taken this weekend in Adams Morgan.
Photograph taken in Foggy Bottom.
Friday, January 7th, 2005
Taken at Dupont Circle.
Saturday, November 27th, 2004
Wednesday, November 24th, 2004
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004
Last weekend I attended the massive show of local artists Artomatic. At the show hundreds of artists’ work is displayed in a sprawling building which used to house the Capital Children’s Museum, and before that, a monastery. Lennox at D.C. Art News has been posting many top ten lists submitted by his friends are readers - a good way, I think, to approach an art show which is a bit overwhelming. Strolling through the exhibits, I took the time to jot down the names of a few of the artists, particularly if they displayed a website URL. While this isn’t necessarily a “top ten” list, it’s ten artists whose work I enjoyed:
Charlie Jones - Thai Traditions
Gregory Ferrand - Crossing the Border al ‘Otro Lado’
In one room, the abstract paintings of Charlie Jones caught my eye with their expressiveness and color. Gregory Ferrand paints scenes featuring oddly captivating figures which seem both familiar and disturbing at the same time, frequently carrying humorous titles like “The Dummy is Dead Poor Dummy.”
Still life by Carol Spils
Michele Banks - Valentine Variations
J. Steve Strawn - Red and Blue Shattered
Kevin T. Irvin - Coffee Cup
Photographer J. Steve Strawn had on exhibit a number of photos of wine glasses shattering and water splashing caught in exquisite detail with a high speed camera. In another area, Kevin T. Irvin’s art reflects influences from popular culture, graffiti art, and cartoons.
Dana Ellyn - Nuptials
Displayed in a hallway, many of Dana Ellyn’s artworks are inspired by events she reads about in the news each day, resulting in surreal landscapes illustrating not only the content but mood of the news.
“urban decay 1″ by Sepideh Majd
In another room hang paintings by Sepideh Majd, whose “urban decay” series captures some of the spirit of D.C.’s metrorail. She paints faceless, listless figures who are visually enmeshed in grey. Taking a nod from the ubiquitous cement, she expresses the alienation of the individual in the most urban of environments.
An explanatory text near Bridget Vath’s “phobic fashions” urges viewers to wear their fears. She displays, as if for sale, a bullet proof nightgown, “security blanket” shirt (soft with places for comforting photos), and a shirt that doubles as a life preserver.
Thomas Edwards - School of Fish Pain
Finally, Thomas Edwards was one of the few artists who attempted to directly tackle technology’s impact on human life. Describing his work as “Technological art that explores the interface between people and machines,” he had two works on display. His Sycophant Head uses motion sensors to follow the viewer, repeating complements, and his School of Fish Pain features robotic fish who periodically complain of their unnatural suffering.
More information about all of the artists on display is available through the Art-O-Matic artist catalogue. The 2004 Artomatic is on display until December 5.
Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004
This Reaganesque vampire-like man was spotted on K Street in downtown Washington D.C., of all places. The stencil art was created on a page from the business section of the newspaper, and then pasted to a temporary construction barrier near a bunch of movie posters.
Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004
Stencil featuring a pirate flag photographed in Washington D.C. (See another view of this design.)
Wednesday, October 20th, 2004
Both photographs taken this evening on 17th Street NW, Washington D.C.
Sunday, October 3rd, 2004
I spotted this stencil near 14th and U St. NW.
Thursday, September 30th, 2004
Steve Shepard - “Closed Door Meeting”
Steve Shepard’s work has mostly depicted the flora and fauna of the swamps of his native Mississippi over a 20-year career. However, in the past year his works have become intensely political, with titles like “Republicans Kill Wetlands” and “Stop the Earth Haters Bush & Cheney”
The artist was rejected from the “old-fashioned, family-oriented” Art in the Pass street fair in the town of Pass Christian, Mississippi by festival chairman Virgil Harris, who told the Mississippi Sun Herald the artist violated the fair’s policy against “politicking": “What he was doing was purely politicking. The work reminded me of devil worship.”
Monday, September 27th, 2004
I took this photo last spring in Bloomington, Indiana. I think it’s supposed to show President George W. Bush. I have written about stencil art in Ann Arbor before, and I reccomend this extensive gallery of art in Ann Arbor, Detroit, and Toledo.
Monday, February 23rd, 2004
Ann Arbor Stencil Art
This month’s Current has an interesting article about the stencil art that can be seen around town, and the author even talks to some of the artists. One of my favorites: the “Just Do Something” stencil in the Law Quad, among other places.
“… Stencils are strongly associated with the punk rock community. The alternative images/ideas they present are protest in nature, and their placement tends to favor large, industrial cities.
Local stencil artist Wilbur describes his take on the punk community’s concepts of public art. “One of the main things for me is that art is something that anyone can do anywhere, and that goes hand in hand with the idea of public space.” …
Nisbett points out that respect is key. “People should be respectful and not do it on people’s houses or even businesses. The best place for it is public structures – railroad property, parking structures – places not owned by individuals who will suffer. Stenciling should be done when it will benefit ugly or boring places.”
Wilbur’s ultimate declaration is inspiring: “The powers that be are determined to make the world an ugly place because they don’t have to look at it on the ground-floor level – I say take it back and make it beautiful.” … “
> From Current: Off the Wall: Surveying the Streets for Beautification and Protest
> Also, see an online gallery of Ann Arbor art here (Click on the numbers for multiple pages)
> More info on stencil art at happyfeettravels.org