I browsed through several Art Galleries in the Washington DC 14th Street art corridor today.
Curator’s Office. My first stop was at the Curator’s Office. Andrea Pollan has a small but wonderful gallery and her current show, Potential Energy-A Collaboration, features works on paper by Ann Tarantino and Kate McGraw.
Ann Tarantino has two works which were featured at Jan Beckman’s 20×200 site this week. Both at beautiful, I particularly loved her print Far and Wide but Flying Colors is wonderful as well. Both are still available but moving briskly at the site.
Jan Beckman’s site sell large, medium, and small editions of the same print in edition sizes of 2, 20, and 200 respectively. The small size limited edition prints are very affordable at $20.00 each.
While I was there, Andrea showed me two new Leslie Holt Hello Kitty paintings, Hello Hope and Hello Change. Both paintings featured different riffs on Shepard Fairey’s famous Obama poster. Both were wonderful but only the Hello Hope was available so I quickly snagged it. Lucky me!
Irvine Contemporary. I ended up at Martin Irvine’s gallery, Irvine Contemporary. There was an amazing show that opened tonight, Regime ChangeStarts at Home features the works of Shepard Fairey (The artist behind the tricolor Obama poster), Al Farrow and and Paul Miller (DJ Spooky).
Shepard Fairey’s work is phenomenal, it is a combination of a collage, stencil and acrylic paints; this is street art at it’s best. Fairey has a strong graphic design background and it really shows in his work. According the his bio at the Martin Irving Gallery Fairey graduated in with a BA 1992 from the Rhode Island School of Design. His work reminds me of some of the intense and graphically powerful socialist party posters I used to see in Germany during the early 1990s. Sadly most of the work was far out of reach for me since it was priced at $16,000-17,000 but the impact of seeing it up close was incredible.
Fairey created a limited edition poster of his larger work, China Girl (original China Girl is shown on the left). the collage background looked like newspapers and the type of thin paper with intricate pattern that reminded me of the delicate wrapping papers available from India. The image is large and powerful.
The limited edition print (450 total) lacks some of the depth of the original. Understandable because there is no collage involved; it’s a sexy image anyway. Although I love the original the print was very inexpensive at $100 each. The graphic image was amazing and yes I did buy one; how could I not?
The alley behind the gallery featured numerous posters that had been pasted to a wall. As a cohesive whole they were amazing. Beside thin posters featuring images by Fairey, there was also some of the paper he’d used in his collage works. Many of the posters were blocked together and there were also a few unique ones. Gallery guests were welcome to photograph them.
I spied a large Obama poster of Fairey’s which had been pasted on the third story wall of a building near Whole Foods. There were also several freshly pasted posters plastered up on different surfaces throughout the 14th Street corridor.
Overall it was an amazing show. The first time I’d seen Fairey’s work was the Obama poster (which I love). I was lucky enough to have a friend give me the Obama poster when they returned from the Democratic Convention in Denver.
If you live in the DC area make sure you stop by the Martin Irving Gallery to this show; it’s amazing. They are located at 1412 14th Street NW, Washington DC 202-332-8767.
Note- there are several great blog posts about this show and Shepard Fairey as well. checkout Adventrues of Hoogrrl.